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GLEANINGS 



ENGLAND. 



:' GLEANINGS 

IN 

ENGLAND; 

DESCRIPTIVE OF 

THE COUNTENANCE, MIND AND CHARACTER 
OF THE COUNTRY. 



BY. MR. PRATT. 



I GLORY IN THE NAME OF BRITON." 



VOL. IV. 



LONDON: 

PRINTED BY H. BALDWIN AND SON; 
FOR T. N, LONGMAN, AND 0. REES, PATERNOSTER-ROW. 

M,DCC,XCIX. 



ADVERTISEMENT. 



JL HE first Letter, and the last, of this 
Volume, furnish so much of what is usually 
considered to be necessary matter, in an address 
to the Reader, and so fully explain the Author s 
aim, and end of loth which, he trusts, .the 
intermediate farts will, not unimpressively, sup- 
fly the accomplishmentthat not much is left, in 
the way of advertisement, to be added. 

The Author s grand view, has been, what, 
indeed, will be but repetition to state here 
though that part of the plan cannot be too soon 
known to present a just and honourable IDEA 
of this important Country, as a whole, from 
not a mechanical, not a methodical, but fair 
and liberal survey of its parts, taken in several 
journies upon its animated surface, with descrip- 



Viii ADVERTISEMENT. 

of this copy to the original, is not, as far as 
it goes, correct. 

Of skill in the drawing, of delicacy in the 
tints, of fitness in the keeping , &c. &c. &c. the 
Painter has not a word to offer on his own 
account, though much, very much, indeed, on either 
of these points, where he has borrowed any of the 
colours, &c.from others; but for the resemblance, 
being, on the whole, exact, he should certainly 
meet criticism and even malice itself, at every 
possible point they might encounter him, did he not 
firmly believe, that their weapons, instead of 
fixing in the canvass of the Painter, or in the 
bosom of the Country, would recoil upon them- 
selves. 

In short, he has the fullest persuasion, that 
though this rough draft is set before the public 
eye in the best LIGHT, it is precisely in the place 
where TRUTH w ill allow PATRIOTISM to view it. 



TO 



THE RIGHT HONOURABLE 

THE EARL OF MOIRA 

MY LORD, 

OENSIBLE of the value of your 
Name, and proud as I am of placing it 
before the following pages, I boast not of 
the PERMISSION. Upon this occasion, I 
certainly should have availed myself of 
what, I have always considered, ought to 
be the privilege of Men of Letters in 
every free Country, and of English Wri- 
ters in particular to select, and to appro- 
priate, such Patrons as seem best calculated 
to adorn, to strengthen, or to illustrate, 
their subjects; pre-supposing them to be 
on* the side of Virtue and Truth. 



X DEDICATION. 

It was by one of those singular events, 
of which the heart ever after retains a 
pleased 'impression, that some of the sub- 
sequent Letters, then collecting for the 
press fell under your -Lordship's eye; 
but, had no such favourable circumstance 
taken place, their very nature^ and design, 
being to offer a friend upon the Con- 
tinent, and all other foreigners a just idea 
of Great Britain indeed, to give the very 
body and spirit of the time, its immedi- 
ate " form and pressure 5 ' would have 
made it absolutely necessary if not in 
the beginning, certainly in progress of the 
correspondence, to add the dignity, the 
weight, and the ornament of the Earl of 
MOIRA'S intellectual, military, and moral 
qualities to the many living examples 
already noticed, or yet to be mentioned, of 
the MIND AND CHARACTER OF THE 
COUNTRY : and that^ not on the contracted 
measurement of temporary questions, -or 



DEDICATION* XI 

local circumstances not upon individual 
acquaintance or personal attachment but, 
on the great scale of public and private 

virtue, which 

t 

" Have bought 
. Golden opinions from all sorts of people." 

My Lord, on that basis, it would have 
been my duty to give every advantage to 
the execution of my plan, in regard to 
your Lordship, as well as other highly 
appreciated personages, of whom without 
soliciting or consulting any, it has been 
felt as a justice due to my Country, ' to 
write as I have written, under the au- 
spices and sanction of Truth. 

Indeed, the Sheets which happened to 
be placed in your Lordship's view, and 
which had the good fortune to satisfy 
your judgment while they interested your 
affections, did not, specifically, unfold to 



XII DEDICATION. 

you the particulars of the plan ; it is, 
therefore, still on this basis I tender you 
the Work but under every cheering hope 
your Lordship will find nothing in the 
Book to resist the Writer's claims, or to 
make you shrink from your own a 
subject to which the Public will think I 
have by no means done full justice in 
this simple expression of them. 

For my own part, I never could see 
clearly on what reasoning the maxim was 
founded that, no Evil is to be spoken of the 
Dead, any more than on what solid ground it 
could be argued that no Good is to be written 
of the Living ; though I enter perfectly 
into the feeling which makes an ill report 
of either, one of the hardest duties im- 
posed on a generous disposition. "A 
Book," says an Author I have had occa- 
sion to quote in the body of this Work 

4 which endeavours to eternize the memory 



DEDICATION. XIII 

of truly great and noble Benefactors, to 
whom Works of consummate excellence, 
and acts of piety, charity, or public spirit, 
have deservedly given superior distinction 
in the age in which they lived/' he 
might have said, or are living " is a 
RECORD OF VIRTUE/' 

Accept then, my Lord, this preliminary 
Volume of English Gleanings,- receive it, 
I beseech you, as you will find I have all 
along requested the Friend to whom the 
materials which principally compose it, 
were originally sent, as a FAMILY PIC- 
TURE taken from the life, and shewn 
immediately after the first sitting the 
outline sketched, the general figure 
exhibited, with here a particular linea- 
ment of boldness and strength, and there a 
trait of more softness -its harmonious 
proportions lightly touched, and an im- 
perfect and rapid, but warm grouping of 



XIV DEDICATION. 

the whole And do not, I entreat you, 
let k be the subject of one moment's 
regret, that, as in the original, so in 
the copy, I thus casually mention a 
Nobleman as a first figure, which must 
inevitably stand extremely forward in the 

Piece, by whomsoever it may be painted. 

4 

I have the honour to be, 

My LORD, 
Your most obedient, 

Humble Servant, 



THE AUTHOR. 

LONDON, 

July 4, 1799. 



CONTENTS. 



LETTER I. 

APACE 
RRANGEMENT of correspondence with the BARON 

DE B. Difficulties. of Gleaning ENGLAND explained, 
and adjusted a preliminary compact i ' 



LETTER II. 

Historical retrospect of the Island Comparison, con- 
trasts, and illustrations the dominion bf the Druids 
the magic of the Bards Portraits of Aboriginal 
Britons Progress of their descendents Shades in 
the several pictures General modern character Cli- 
mate, and geographical division of the country . . . 10 

LETTER III. 

Of the proposed plan of excursion Impediments 
BROMLEY, in Kent a poetical landscape taken there, 
in pencil Sickness Convalescence Villa of Major 
JOHN SCOTT Grave of HAWKESWORTH SUMMER- 
TRIBUTE TO NATURE Village of LEE Monument 



XVI CONTENTS. 

FACE 
of Lord DACRE Conduct of his widowReflections 

on posthumous attachment Modern etiquettes super, 
seding the feelings of Nature Instanced by proxy- 
nurses and proxy-mourners Epitaph on the late 
Countess of KERRY, by her husband Remarks ... 50 

LETTER IV. 

4 < We," in England, " fly by night" Sweep of an 
hundred miles into NORFOLK, betwixt afternoon tea 
and morning breakfast The Author's explanations 
as to HIS mode of travel England's pre-eminence 
in travelling Luxuries HORSES CARRIAGES- 
ROADS These compared with their contrasts in other 
countries and formerly in our own EPPING.FOREST 
AUDLEY-END Earl of EGREMONT Observations 
on the establishment of MAIL COACHES the history 
of that Institution Garden villa of a friend Birth- 
day verses 57. 

LETTER V. 

ENGLISH INNS their contrasts abroad Dr. Johnson's 
idea of an English tavern The Gleaner's opinion 
Adroitness and penetration of English Waiters, as to 
the pretensions of a traveller village of NORTH 
RUNCTON, Scenery of that part of NORFCLK 
County-Historians Giants and Pigmies of the 



CONTENTS. XVli 

PACE 

English Press the Author's constant attachment to the 
laving figured preference to the dead letter English 
agriculture Gardening Natural and artificial 
arrangments Description of the county of Norfolk 
English laws Liberties Bounties Beatitudes ^ . 84, 

LETTER VI. 

Unfoldings of Nature in the human mind The por- 
trait of a child Opinions submitted, respecting 
innate ideas Opening and progression of the fancy 
and the affections in children The Gleaner's passing 
tribute to the shades of his Canary bird, and his an- 
cient Steed their defence, and his own former tri- 
bute Farther remarks upon innate ideas, as to the 
preference and selections of some children to some 
particular objects of Taste Delicacy Choice 
Sensation as preceding Education Discipline or 
Imitation-r- Apostrophe to childhood Offering from 
Pity to Innocence 108 

LETTER VII. 

LYNN its strikiog resemblance to Several towns in 
France and Germanythe scenery around assimilates - 
to that of Holland illustrations scraps of super- 
stition remains of Catholic Power and magnificence 
in England present use of the ruins a great event 
VOL. ir. b 



XVIU CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

in ' the annals of Lynn King John of England's 
sword ! also the history of a royal cup ! Flourish 
trumpets and drums .'Feast of Reconciliation ! 
The Author discourses with an ancient man Com- 
merce of Lynn Idea of the general corn-trade 
of England, and energies of the country from a 
statement of the yearly average of the exports, from 
LYNN to foreign markets 132 



LETTER VIII. 

Infinite VARIETY of the English character Proofs 
General sameness in other countries Manner and 
matter of the English character different of other 
nations, much the same as to giving general images of 
minds and governments a Dutch Treckschuyte, or 
Passage-boat, and English Stage-coach Freedom of 
the British constitution produces the diversity 
Reserve and coldness of the English character a way 
offered by the Gleaner to thaw the Ice -The grand 
specific against this complaint only to be found in 
COURTESY, without a supply of which, 'no traveller 
should journey beyond the spot where he thinks he 
has a right to be disagreeable namely, at home 
in short, he has good-naturedly advised such a man to 
confine his UNTRA YELLING qualities to his own family 
and only exercise his talents on wifesister 



CONTENTS XLJC 



daughter servant dog cat, and other dependents 

which would be comparatively generous ....... 154 

LETTER IX. 

HILLINGTON a new horse, sacred to ENGLISH lean- 
ings his congenial character and qualities Land- 
scapes and objects in the way from Lynn to Hilling* 
ton an English heath compared with one of Ger- 
many Waste ground of England Spirit of enclo- 
sure a national improvement an estimate of the 
little great proud Island under its weight of debt, 
public war, private feuds, and with " all its imper- 
fections on its head," as it may be seen at this moment 
by the Author's Correspondent, or any other foreign* 
er Mode of paying what will probably never be 
paid in any mode Hillington-hall, and its present 
proprietor Difficulty of acquiring on travel a know* 
ledge of personal character The Gleaner courteously 
offers the use of his key to the lock Difference of 
the same person in the town-house, and at the coun- 
try-seat farther good effects of courtesy towards 
gaining the objects of every order of travellers the 
shrewd truths and sheer-mother wit of the common 
country people of England, if left to express thek 
feelings % and opinions in their own way* illustrations 
-the wonderful consequence of the chief personage 
of a vfljage, as to morals and happiness* of the v# 



XX CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

lagers Mr.PoLWHELE's Remarks remarked on both 

sides of the Country Gentleman's picture the heart 
of the Reader perchance will here chill and glow- 
The Gleaner leaves a blessing as he passes the scenery 
of Hillington the distinction betwixt popularity 
and virtue a scale of illustrious names, and their 
estimate ascertained the wonderous magic of the 
two monosyllables, my OWN, so far as regards the 
AFFECTIONS ; for as to any thing else, a good-natured 
man feels that he has property in all that gives happi-. 
ness to human beings 164, 

LETTER X. 

HOUCHTON the WALPOLES the shew-ladies and gen- 
tlemen at all the fine places, as they are called, of 
England Grand keepers of the household lions- 
Portrait and epitaph a yet more durable portrait of 
Catherine, second wife to the celebrated Sir Robert 
the first impression on the mind of classic travellers in 
visiting fhe mansions of illustrious men illustrations 
Sir Robert and Horace Walpole Houghton Hall 
Park -J Woods Church The mansions of the 
living and the dead Another proof of the native 
acuteness of the unlettered classes of the people of 
England, and their power of giving the TRUTH or 
CHARACTER, if you get them into train further 
insfanced in a right leajned Clerke) yclept Jams * 



CONTENTS, XXI 

PACE 

the historian of Houghton his masters neighbours 
and himself Lord George ORFORD . . . i 197 

LETTER XL 

The Gleaner's respect for his Correspondent and Readers 
The graves of the great the meditations of 
a servant over the ashes of his master a portrait of 
Simplicity in sorrow the Reader will not be un 
moved Monumental lines, left by the Gleaner in 
Houghton-Park church 2,22 

LETTER XII. 

The Right Learned Clerke exhibits himself as a Critic 
on the foregoing verses means to make a very elo- 
quent speech on delivering them to the higher powers 
but is prevented by persons in office from making 
any speech at all Alas, poor Verses! and, alas, 
poor learned Clerke's speech as intended to be 
spoken ! PRINCE OF WALES'S birth-day, and flie day 
preceding harvest LORD AND XADY CHOLMONDELEY 
a village festival Drink, Dance, and Song an 
HARVEST-DAY, and the Author Gleaneth it a brief 
survey of England illustrations MALLET DU PAN 
the animated translation of his " Mercure Eritan- 
nique," and remarks upon translators in general ... 230 



XX11 CONTENTS* 

PAGE 
LETTER XIII. 

An interesting evening The effect of moonlight on 
the fancy, and the heart TJie world assumes an 
entire new face under the power of her beams, as if 
it were jather another world than the same twin*, 
worlds, similar in fashion, exact in features, different 
almost to contrast in expression, and character of 
countenance L' Allegro and il Penseroso of Nature 
displayed in her Day and Night A second visit to 
Houghton-Hall, in the pensile hour, and alone- Re- 
flections made on Prime Ministers and Poets, in the 
very witching time of night Castle of Otranto, and 
an appearance . , , . t . , .... f ..,.,.,. 254, 

LETTER XIV, 

Anecdotes, agricultural, and bountiful, of Lord George 
Orford his character by Arthur Young by the 
villagers by the county as supplementary to the 
histories of the learned Clerke Houghton village 
A village man The hearts of the villagers' huzza 
The Author joins his Correspondent, and his 
Readers will not refuse to join in the chorus ...... 265 

LETTER XV. 

Road-side between HOUGHTON ancl FAKENHAM, and 
EAST RUDHAM History of the old Man of .the gate 



CONTENTS. XXlil 

PACE 
A more extensively comparative view of England with 

other countries A sun-bright passage from a re^ 
splendent living writer the author of the "'Pursuits 
of Literature" his description of a true pcet 
the description justly personified in the author of 
it Return of Mr. SHERIDAN to the English drama- 
Literary character of that writer Kotzebue the 
Gleaner promise th his Correspondent to consider oa 
some future day the present state of ENGLISH LITE- 
RATURE, in order to ascertain the intellectual cha- 
racter of the country Apostrophe to LAVATER and 
ZIMMERMAN! with an account of the pettifoggers of 
the English Press ... 273 

LETTER XVI. 

FAKENHAM The CRITICISM OF ENGLISH LITERATURE 
consideredObservations on the dignity of the Art 
Bishop Hall's character of Satireand a character 
of Bishop Hall Private tutors of olden-times Pri- 
vate tutors of the present day contrasted Old English 
words, like manners, require interpretations, not to 
be found in Johnson JExamples of the lower orders 
of English Biographers Literary cavillers Of the 
higher orders The importance, and the difficulty of the 
office of a public critic its uses its abuses Tribute 
of truth The hard situation of the genuine pro. 



XXIV CONTENTS, 

PAGE 
fessional critic made responsible for errors not his 

own Errors and cowardice of readers Illustration 
The affair betwixt critic and author, argued on a 
principle of equity Spirit of perfectability Reflec- 
tions thereupon 30,6 

LETTER XVII. 

Description of FAKENHAM RAINHAM.HALL MAR- 
QUIS TOWNSEND The fair historian of Fakenham 
The Rule of Three, being verses made on the road 
for the occasion, and containing a piece of very ge- 
neral information, very useful to be known by all 
who travel into England HOLKH AM Mr. COKE 
Characteristical sketches taken under a gate-way, 
during a shower of rainA nameless character, said 
to breathe some where in the county of Norfolk 
The Author's objection to fine sights, fine houses, 
fine gardens, and fine people, upon 'paper His rea- 
sons A simple fact that consecrates brick and mortar, 
and would render holy a mud cottage Barham- 
Abbey Mrs. Dennis The charm of urbanity -The 
Parent of the Courtesy, which the Gleaner so recom- 
mendeth Travellers usually make the reception they 
find Modern improvements upon ancient reliques 
Illustrations Improvements Cells of despotic 
monks turn'd into pig- sties, &c. &c. Armorial 
f)ea.-ings MELTON Constable ..,..,,., . 



CONTENTS. XXV 

.... LETTER XIX. 

PAC2 

WALSJNCHAM The country lifts itself up, yet shews, 
alas ! its nakedness accounted for, by the relation 
of an INCREDIBLE truth but as it will call for 
vouchers were the Gleaner put on his trial to 
prove his assertion, he should subpoena the coun, : 
ty of Norfolk amongst others, Mr. * * * * * the 
party most concerned who might, indeed, be a 
principal evidence both for and against himself 
A truly good man wronged, and encouraging his 
wrongers Singular, authentic anecdotes A good old 
English dwelling-house A good old English heart, 
and its hospitalities but such ne<w customs as were, 
probably, never heard of since the beginning of Urns 
r- Displays of a very tender disposition, and of a 
fine understanding, in despite of the axe and the 
hatchet A new character in an old world The 
Author is admitted to a midnight breakfast a three 
o'clock in the morning dinner, and to what is better 
than either, a pleasant conversation that atoned even 
for the loss of a night's rest ! . . *. 365 

LETTER XX. 

The strangfi perhaps, unheard o circumstances men. 
tioned in the foregoing Letter, attempted to be ac. 
counted for ; upon principles of tender-heartedness 



xxvi CONTENTS; 

FACE 

Marvellous anecdotes of our august Lady of Wal- 
singham, erst the competitor, for, at least, equality 
of homage, of the Lady of Loretto List of her 
Royal pilgrims, and several on their Royal bare fret, 
particularly our 8th Henry, of pious memory, and 
his. Queen Catherine the former of whom, after his 
worshipping fit was over, grew tired of his idol, ac- 
cording to custom, and threw her into the flames 
The Walsingham wishing wells, where the Gleaner 
wisheth Ride to STIFKEY The interesting beauties 
of BAYFIELD, the seat of Mr. JODDRIL Pictures 
for painting The beauties and blemishes of LETHER- 
INGSET The state of Methodism in England good 
and sincere in the principle, gloomy and fatal in the 
effect Illustrations ,..,.. 396 

LETTER XXI. 

HOLT The Gleaner meeteth with some Fellow-Labour* 
ers, and entereth with them into pleasant discourse, 
and, after some merry chat, leaveth them a great deal 
happier than he ever expecteth to be himself, and 
he much feareth the *great majority of his Readers', 
unless they can contrive to bring back the days when 
their tears " were forgot as soon as shec'' Villages 
of Lpper and Lower Shellingham Glorious uncer-^I 
tainty of property in England, for. near two cen- 
1 ? 



CONTENTS. 
k 

. FAG* 

turies, in which historians, and even proprietors, or 
supposed proprietors are at fault Estimate of the loss 
sustained by Europe, by means of the French Repub- 
lic, in money, goods, and territory A picture of 
fallen States, serving as a warning to States which 
yet exist An Athenian record brought home in its 
application to the immediate history of a particular 
part of Modern Europe 43 

LETTER XXII. 

CROMER Beeston Priory Cromer Beach Views pf 
the ocean in different parts of the day and evening 
The Author gleaneth the SEA also the five late vie- 
tories upon it A prospect of the Naval Glory of 
England borrows some golden ears from living 
English Bards, to make his sheaf-offering presented to 
^England's heroes more worthy their acceptance .... 453 

LETTER XXIII. 

Farther remarks on CROMER its accommodations its 
comforts compared with prouder ports, where fashion 
drives comfort into recesses like Cromer the latter 
very favourable to old spinster and bachelor travellers 
Excursions FELBRIGC, GUNTON, SISTER, WALS- 
JTORD, CLEY Delightful excursions from 



\ 



XXVltt CONTENTS. 

jr. -% PAGE 

various and beautiful in every direction of the coun- 
try, and at pleasant distances for either rides or walks 
Felbrigg, Sisted, Gun ton, Alborough, Anting. 
Jiain, North Walsford, Cley Anecdote of the Har- 
bord estates Lord SUFFIELD and his family Mr. 
Secretary WINDHAM'S plantations The English spirit 
of improving the waste lands more particularly ex- 
plained Messrs. KENT and VANCOVER'S estimates of 
the benefit of enclosure The Gleaner's opinion on 
that subject Return to picturesque beauty GUN- 
TON-HALL Overstock of gamean imputed nuisance 
to the neighbourhood Inquiry into an adjustment 
of this matter A Landscape a Seascape Beach- 
lines , . . 4& 



LETTER XXIV. 

Entrance of an old correspondent and acceptable con- 
tributor Offering of a new sheaf from him 
The Gleaner sporteth on some external formalities 
in the liberal professions Gleaning of IRELAND, 
so far as relates to the late unhappy divisions in that 
Kingdom Brief survey of causes and effects Con- 
trasts between the yeomanry and peasantry of the two 
Countries State of the poor of the Papists and 
Protestants acute and appropriate observations on 
each Irish cabins, and'potatoe grounds contrasted to 



CONTENTS, 

PAGE 

tne cottage and cottage gardens of England Poverty 
of the lower classes accounted for The probable 
good to be effected, as to commerce and manufacto- 
ries by an Union with England Farther causes of 
general extreme indigence amongst the poor Sum- 
mary view of what has been stated on the great 
question of the UNION in the Parliaments of Great 
Britain and Ireland Rise and progress of the dis- 
orders of the latter Country Crimes and cruelties 
Conclusive observations as to the pain attendant 
on the excursions and surveys of the Gleaner of 
Ireland, compared with the heart-felt pleasures of the 
English Gleaner .....,,..,., 52$ 

LETTER XXV. 

Military state of England at the present moment The 
ARMOUR OF PATRIOTISM put on by every man 
to resist invasion The progress of a national senti- 
ment The car of the Hero, and the waggon of the 
Husbandman The delights of Peace, and the hor- 
rors of War contrasted Remarks on a grand Na- 
tional Army collected by, and composed of, men of 
property A House determined to UNITE cannot 
fall 560 



CONTENTS, 

/ 

PAGE 

GENERAL POSTCRIPT. 

Motives for bringing this correspondence to a pause at 
the present moment Future subjects Author's ad- 
dress to his friend, and to the Public A trophy 
sacred to the Unhappy ........ 4 582 



%* THE Proprietors deem it necessary to infornt 
the Public, That his Volume, though marked the 
FOURTH of Mr. Pratt's Gleanings^ is but the Prelimi- 
nary Volume of GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND; and, not- 
withstanding its being a separate and independent Work, 
such of those Purchasers of the former Volumes who 
wish for uniformity and numerical succession in bind, 
ing and lettering, will be thereby accommodated* 



Lately Published in Three Volumes, 

Price one Guinea^ 
A New Edition, being the Fourth, 

OP 

GLEANINGS 

THROUGH WALES, HOLLAND, AND WESTPHALIA, 
With Views of Peace and War at Home and Abroad. 

To which Is added, 

HUMANITY: 

Or, THE RIGHTS of NATURE : A POEM. 

REVISED AND CORRECTED. 

BY MR. PRATT. 

^ 

Also, 
A New and Improved Edition of 

FAMILY SECRETS, 
By the same AUTHOR. 



ERRATA, 



Page 23, ] 


'3> 


. . . 58, 


H> 


- 59> 


1 > 


. . . 84, 


7; 


93 


*3 


. . . 1 08, 


8> 


. . . 112, 


15* 


. . . 154, 


. 16, 


. . . 160, 


4 


. . . 176, 


24^ 


198, 


8. 


. . . 240, 
32 > 


8, 




. 12. 


. . . 428, 


A **J 

- 3> 


. . . 429, 


. 20, 


. . 461, 


J 5> 


511* 


.18, 


. . . 520, 


. 10, 



add #</ after expect* 

for Persian, read Prus start, 

". after countrymen, add 

for distinguishes, read distinguish. 

for <u;fl/, read /#/. 

for glorious, read glories of vegetation* 

for dr<z;<?, read tf.? ^#. 

fosfetife, read/^///. 

for f^/r, read /^(f;<?. 

for shop to shop, read street to street* 

for free, read fra. 

for //6<?/r lord, read their o/^/ lord. 

t&Ktfriemf, add j><?/. 

for 6/?*/ wishes read would wish. 

for W, read /i"// reprobations. 

after ^a/, add it partakes. 

for For, read ,?W beyond. 

for they are, read It is. 

for lustre t read 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 



LETTER L 

To THE BARON CE B> 

JLT is not without a pleasure known only 
to Friendship, and where is the isolated wretch 
who knows not that ?^I hear you still cherish 
the intention of visiting the Country from 
whence I have now the honour to address you; 
and that, whether " Grim-visag'd War shall 
smooth his wrinkled front," or not> you will 
indulge a curiosity which has grown up with 
you from your earliest youth^ of passing some 
time on a little handful of Earth, which is > 
comparatively, but as ati ant-hill on the Globe; 
but which, like the ant-hill,' is populated by the 
most industrious, ingenious, and wonder-work- 
ing creatures in the universe 1 
VOL. iv. B 



2 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

The information which your last favour, by 
the route of Hamburgh, brought me,, that 
your long-form'd design of coming amongst us, 
acknowledges a new motive in the " anirriat- 
ing thought," as you generously call it, of our 
being again within reach of each other, is no 
small addition to my pride and pleasure. And 
your reminding me of my promise to give you 
some IDEA of my Country in return of the 
liberal and instructive services rendered me in 
yours, flatters my self-love, at the same time 
that it confirms your good opinion. 
fc But you chide me, for so long appearing to 
neglect my native Land. Lovingly, and like a 
brother, indeed, but still you chide ; and you 
measure my deserving your reproof, from the 
Letter which I sent you, of my being again on 
English ground ; when I transmitted to you an 
account of the flowery * day I past immediately 
after my landing ; and which the copy of the 
Books, I had the honour to transmit since, 



* Introduction to Vol. I. of ' Gleanings through 
Holland and Westphalia.' 



GLEANINGS IX ENGLAND* 3 

shew, was printed as an introduction to what 
I had imported from other shores* 

Knowing you could not arrange your affairs so 
as to leave Germany, for the term proposed, in 
less than five years, from the period of forward- 
ing to you those remarks, I imagined, they 
would serve as a general description, till a more 
particular one became necessary ; and I was 
willing, besides, that the observations I stood 
pledged to give you, should not be too remote 
from the time of their proving useful ; lest 
with the loss of all their novelty, they should 
lose some of their interest. 

Still you are dissatisfied. " A Gleaning of 
England !" you argue, " would be in keeping 
with the nature and spirit of your friend's 
former pictorial sketches, independent on all 
the compacts of private friendship ; not only 
as the proper finish and crown of the corre- 
spondence, but as a tribute of gratitude and 
of patriotism to the talents, the dignity, and 
the beauty of the Island." 

This is seductive reasoning, my dear Baron. 
But you have lived, chiefly, in an unemigrating 

B 2' 



4 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

country ; persons of almost all countries may 
be comparatively so called with the wanderers 
of Great Britain : perhaps,, therefore, you do 
not know how often our inland travellers have 
fcrod the beaten, and some the unbeaten paths 
that trips, tours, journals,, and journies, through 
every nook and corner of the realm, frequently 
for the sole purpose of detailing, or giving in the 
gross, parts of their travel to others, not to 
mention a considerable phalanx, that make very 
good books of this kind, without travelling at all, 
or at least only from one library to another; 
a kind of literary worms which live upon any old 
leaf they can get at, and are even more abun- 
dant than our histories of England, and that 
our histories are only to be out-numbered by 
Our authors, antl that our authors are only less- 
incalculable than yours. Hence, it would be 
no easy task to find a river, or a rill, a palace, 
or a hut, that has not meandered or murmured, 
displayed its magnificence or boasted its humi- 
lity, and been some way or another made known 
to fame by a true-born Englishman." 

Were I disposed to break promise, I might 
1 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 5 

add to the above reasons for not re-describing 
the described^ a fear to offer you the knten 
entertainment of not, simply, a twice, but a 
two thoflkand times told tale. 

Of this there was less danger, in regard tor 
the Letters which I formerly wrote from abroad ; 
for though many had gone over the ground I 
took in foreign lands, they were very few, io 
comparison of the multitudes who staid at 
home ; and, for one book that describes another 
country, we have a dozen which treats of our 
own : nay, trie history of any one of our coun-* 
ties, or shires the several shires, and counties, 
seeming to have contended which shall have 
produced the largest and longest story ^wotild 
furnish you with more reading than what we 
have of trip and tour of all the world besides. 

And what of other writers ! Are ^^y objec-? 
tionable ? Inasmuch as they imitate nature 
with truth and loveliness ; as they develope with 
candour, and with skill, the yet more interest- 
ing pictures of the human heart ; as. they dwell 
fondly on its excellencies, and etch with light 
hand, its little frailties taking care even in 



6 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

their portraitures of vice, not to make their 
shades too sombrous too deadly dark and 
scorning with the pride of true Genius, to let 
Hate or Envy mix the colours,, such artists 
should be welcome, though they were a thou- 
sand fold more numerous than they are. 

It will be with peculiar pleasure I shall 
consult, or refer you, as we go along, to such 
of those as have displayed the richness and the 
variety of their native land, whether in its 
productions of art or nature ; its manners, or 
its genius ; and who give you a proof of 
that genius, even in their descriptions of the 
country itself. 

The point proposed, is an amusing, interesting, 
and true idea of England, and of Englishmen, 
in their various classes ; and, towards your gain- 
ing this, I will, with the helps above mentioned, 
endeavour to be the Guide, which a man of 
your mind, ingenious, candid, inquisitive, and 
literary will have occasion for: Neither will 
I affect to disallow > though I am aware it im- 
plies a too flattering compliment on myself, 
that a residence in, and review of, what was to 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 7 

be seen abroad, enables a man to judge with 
less prejudice of what is passing at home ; 
helps him to weigh the possessions of the latter 
in a surer scale ; to poise good with good, 
advantage with advantage ; to make the national 
estimate with more precision ; and, finally, to 
settle the moral and natural balance of Great 
Britain with other parts of Europe. 

It is fortunate for me also, that an unshackled 
freedom, as to the delineation of men and things, 
places and people, was adopted in the first 
instance, because it will seem a matter of course 
in the second : and I shall thus have full 
liberty to pursue my usual, unencumbered mode 
of travelling without being set down as 
eccentric. 

I beg it may, however, be fully understood, 
that I do by no means pledge myself, or pretend 
to make a journey THROUGH England, but to de- 
scribe, after my manner, the things which -shall 
impress my mind in an excursion to particular 
towns, and counties, where affection, curiosity, 
or partial favour, call me IN England 1 an 
important monosyllable, which, you will observe, 



8 CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

i 

underscored by a triple mark of emphasis on 
my paper, and which in print for I trust this 
partial Tour will be acceptable to all minds 
congenial with yours will be noted by 
Capitals. 

And never was there a country more auspicious 
to travellers of this character than England ; 
they may take, their ground even as the stick 
falls, and be sure that it will not point to the 
barren; or, at worst,, that the sterile will lead 
quickly to the fertile. The place, or the in- 
habitant, the soil, the situation, or the pro- 
ductions, will always render it pregnant with 
something which will prevent the eye from 
being long bent on vacancy. 

These matters, then, being explained and 
adjusted before we set out, I will take the first 
fair day to begin our journey ; diverging from 
the place of my present address-stupendous 
London! the great central point, both of 
object and observation; and to which we may 
return, and pay the tribute and homage it 
commands, when the raven-winged days of 
Winter succeed to the livelier months, that are, 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLANP. Q 

as you will perceive by the date of this Epistle, 
now smiling, upon the Country and upon our 
undertaking. 

For the present,, I have only to inform you,, 
J shall be prepared with a duplicate of each 
Letter; or each parcel of Letters, I may send, 
to guard against the interruption of the mails, 
and the various (e moving accidents of flood 
" and field," which continue,, alas! to retard 
not only the soft intercourse of private friend-* 
ship, but the publick happiness, and whatever 
is most dear to the interests an*} affections pf 
man. 



1C GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 



LETTER II. 

\ 

London, May 15, 1799- 
A.LTHOUGH I know you to be well 
grounded in general history, and, of course, 
have some previous acquaintance with that of 
the country from which I now write to you, it 
may not be amiss to desire you will have in re~ 
collection, even as you direct your course over 
the cliffs of Albion, that the people you design 
to visit, are the descendents of those hardy tribes 
who lived upon the produce of the chace, 
cloathing themselves with the skins which they 
threw off when they were in action ; making 
thus the animals, which were the objects of 
their pursuit, supply them at once with food, 
raiment, and a defence against the rigours of 
the precarious climate in which they were 
born : that their huts were scattered over 
the face of the island, without regularity or 
arrangement ; their choice of a particular spot 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 11 

being influenced by its happier supply of water 
and wood- that much of their bodies were 
exposed,, and ferociously coloured with terrific 
figures, either to protect them from the weather, 
or to affright their foes * that their towns, if, 



* <f When the chill breeze of morning overspread, 
Wav'd the dark boughs, that roof'd his sylvan bed, 
Up the light Briton sprung to chace the deer 
Through Humberts vales, or healthy Cheviot drear : 
Languid at noon, his fainting limbs he cast 
On the warm bank, and sought his coarse repast ; 
With acorns shaken from the neighbouring oak, 
Or sapless bark that from the trunk he broke, 
His meal he made ; and in the cavern'd dell, 
Drank the hoarse wave that down the rough rocks fell. 
In- open sky he rests his head, and sees 
The stars that twinkle through the waving trees. 
On his bare breast the chilling dews descend ; 
His yellow locks the midnight tempest rend. 

Ytit 

" Such were the race, who drank the light of day, 
When lost in western waves Britannia lay ; 
Content they wander'd o'er the heaths and moors, 
Nor thought that ocean rolPd round other shores ; 
Viewing the fires, that blaz'd around their skies, 
'Mid the wide world of waters set and rise, 
They vainly deem'd the twinkling orbs of light, 
For them alone illum'd the vault of night : 
For them alone the golden lamp' of day, 
Jield its bright progress through th* etherial way." 

ABORIGINAL BRITONS, 



12 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

as has been observed, a collection of miserable 
tenements, could deserve that name were 
mostly built upon the coasts : where the poorest 
shed of a modern fisherman, in any of the sea- 
side villages to which I shall have the pleasure 
of conducting you, would have been thought a 
magnificent palace, even for the chieftain of 
their tribes that the commodities of barter, in 
the majestic island, which is now the emporium 
and grand mart of the worldy were chiefly the 
hides of those savage beasts, on whose flesh they 
feasted that unconscious of the endearing ties 
of affection and love,* poligamy was permitted 
to a more than brutal extent, 'and, finally, that 
the government, which, with more of private 
and of public good, and less of evil,, is' now, 
perhaps, the most excellent, and certainly the 
most happy of any upon the 'globe, was simply 
derived from the authority of the parent, who, 
having given life, had, as it was thought, a 
natural right to dispose of the gift, as circum- 



* Uxores habent deni duodenic[ue inter se communes* 
Csesar de bello Gallico, 



GLEANINGS IX ENGLAND. 13 

Stances required- and,, moreover, that religion, 
which has now for so many centuries held out 
the blessed influence of the mild system of 
JESUS CHRIST, was in the beginning dictated to 
the ancient inhabitants of Britain by those bar- 
barous teachers the Druids,* who, have been 
so variously represented, by some as a frater- 
nity not less simple and guiltless, than the 



* But they derived all their military and, perhaps, most 
of their energy as men from their BARDS. 

whose magic fingers strung 

The Cambrian lyre. 

Hail, ye who wandered by romantic streams, 
With harps that glitter'd to the moon's pale beams ; 
Sooth'd by your midnight hymns was many a ghost, 
Whose cold bones whiten'd Avon's dreary coast. 



" Fir'd by your magic songs, the Briton pour'd 
A ten-fold fury ; dar'd the uplifted sword ; 
Envy'd the shades of chiefs in battle slain, 
And burn'd to join them on th' etherial plain ; 
For warrior souls, ye sung, would deathless bloom. 

When the cold limbs lay mould'ring in the tomb. 
****** 

with heart oh fire, 

They heard the heroic strains of Cad wall's lyre; 
In Mador's verse renew its mortal toils, 
And shine through Hoel's songs in hostile spoils." 



14 GLEANINGS IJf ENGLAND. 

Bards, awful by their practical virtue, no less 
than by their professional character, and benignly 
chastizing, or reproving, vices from which they 
were themselves exempt and as one of their 
advocate historians expresses it, " using no other 
arms than the reverence due to integrity," * 
while, by others, they have been . drawn as a 
sanguinary brotherhood, which sought the refuge 
of woods and caves to perpetrate unequalled 
depredations under the mask of piety, sacrificing 
human victims, and accumulating the absurdi- 
ties of superstition on the horrors of murder. 
The truth lies, possibly, between both of these 
descriptions, yet it seems on all hands agreed, 
that the original possessors of the fair land to 
which you meditate a visit, were under the 
controul of these persons, who gradually ac- 
quired such an ascendancy,* that they were in 



* _ the Druid priests irripress'd 

A sacred horror on the savage breast. 

Midst rocks and wastes their GROVE tremendous rose : 

O'er the rude altars hung in dread repose. 

A twilight pale ; like the dim sickly noon, 

When the mid-sun retires behind the moon. 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 15 

the end invested with the power not only of pas- 
tors but of judges ; no laws being instituted with- 



From sounding caverns riish'd the darksome flood, 

Each antique trunk was stain'd with human blood. 

'Twas sung, that birds in terror left the shade ; 

That lightnings harmless round the branches play'd ; 

And in the hour of fate, the CENTRAL OAK 

Shook with the spirit of the God, and spoke. 

The Roman check 'd awhile his conquering band. 

And dropt the imperial eagle from his hand ; 

And seem'd, while shudd'ring borne through Mona's wood, 

To tread the confines of the Stygian flood. 

f( What direful rites these gloomy haunts disgrace ; 
Bane of the mind, and shame of man's high race ? 
*Twas deem'd the circles of the waving wand, 
The mystic figures, and the mutt'ring band, 
Held o'er all nature's works as powerful sway, 
As the great Lord, and Maker of the day. 
Rocks, by infernal spells, and magic pray'r^ , ., 
Shook from their base, and trembled high in air j 
The blasted stars their faded light withdrew ; 
The lab'ring moon shed down a baleful dew. 
Spirits of hell aerial dances led, 
And rifled graves gave up the pale cold dead. 
Imperial man, creation's Lord and pride, 
To crown the sacrificial horrors, died : 
That HESUS, direly pleas 'd, in joyous mood 
Might flesh their swords, and glut their scythes in blood 3 
And TARANUS, amidst his tempest smile, 
And roll innocuous thunders o'er the isle." 

RICHARPS'S ABORIGINAL BRITONS, 



16 GLEANINGS IN" 

out their approbation, nor any vice punished 
with bonds or death but by virtue of their 
sentence.* 



* We are told, that the chief means employed by them to 
keep the people in awe, and to extort a ready compliance 
with their orders, was a kind of excommunication. Who- 
ever fell under their censure, was not only excluded all reli* 
gious assemblies as a wicked profane person, but was also 
rendered incapable of any public office, or receiving any 
benefit from the protection of their laws, and was shunned 
by the rest of the people as much as if he had been infected 
with some contagious distemper. 

The horrible custom, which prevailed among the Britons, 
of sacrificing a great number of men at the same time, was 
performed thus : they first erected a gigantic figure of a man, 
made up of basket-work, so as to contain a great many per- 
sons in the body and limbs of it, which, when filled with the 
miserable wretches pitched upon for this purpose, the whole 
was consumed 1 with fire. It is true, that this sacrifice com* 
tnonly consisted of murderers, robbers, and thieves ; yet 
upon great occasions, where the number of criminals did not 
suffice, even innocent persons sometimes shared this cruel 
fate : for they imagined, that such practices were very effi- 
cacious in appeasing the wrath of their gods, and averting 
any public calamity. Some writers have endeavoured to 
account for the origin of this enormous wicker-statue by 
telling us, that the Britons had been cruelly oppressed by 
certain giants, or at least men of a very extraordinary stature j 
and that, in hatred to their memory, they thus burnt them 
in effigy ! 

The -chief residence of our Druids was in the Isle of 
Anglesea ; and such was the deference paid to them, that the 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

I wish you to take this retrospective 
that you may be the more forcibly impressed 
with what your eyes, your head, and heart will 
observe and feel when you are amongst us 
when you shall have had an opportunity to 



Druids of Gaul resorted thither to receive their Instructions. 
Besides foreign Druids, even the youth of other countries 
were sent for education into Britain. Their method of teach- 
ing consisted in making their scholars learn by rote a great 
number of verses, containing the several precepts of their 
religion and morality ; for though they preserved the prin- 
ciples of their belief and practice wrote in Greek characters, 
they never suffered any copies to be taken. Among other 
doctrines inculcated by them, they seem to have been par- 
ticularly zealous in enforcing the belief of an immediate 
transmigration, so that the soul was no sooner expelled one 
body by death, whether natural or violent, but it was in- 
stantly united in the womb to another body> This added an 
acquired courage to their natural bravery, making them pro- 
digal of a life they expected to be renewed the next instant. 
The Druids seldom went to war unless some very extraordi- 
nary danger threatened their country; and then their presence 
seems to have been of no other use, than, by their enthu- 
siasm, to animate the combatants. . I, . { 

The source from whence the above statement has been 
gathered, well deserves the perusal of every foreigner, par- 
ticularly the Introductory party which gives a clear and 
distinct view of our constitution, and every branch of the 
legislature. It is called, the Geography of England \ a book 
published about fifty years ago, and in few hands. 

VOL. IV. C 



18 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

enter fully into the contrast, by comparing the 
same people in their progress to nearly the per- 
fection of social life, from an unaccommodated, 
and almost savage state destitute alike of 
science and of morals ignorant of every 
charity every decency utterly unconscious 
of the interior graces of the mind, and scarcely 
bearing the external form of educated man.* 

This, you will tell me, is the infant history 
of the whole human race : the origin of feeble, 
uncivilized -mortals through every part of the 
globe. But; you will at the same time allow, 
that the progression of these weak, strong, 



* .The subsequent lines from the elegant poem just quotedj 
present a bold finishing of the portrait : 

" Rude as the wilds around his sylvan home, 
In savage grandeur see the Briton roam. 
Bare were his limbs, and strung with toil and cold, 
By untam'd nature cast in giant mould. 
O'er his broad brawny shoulders loosely flung, 
Shaggy and long his yellow ringlets hung. 
His waist an iron-belted faulchion bore, 
Massy and purpled deep with human gore : 
His scarr'd and rudely-painted limbs around, 
Fantastic, horror-striking figures frown'd, 
Which monster-like, ev'n to the confines ran 
Of nature's work, and left him hardly man.'* 
1 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 1<) 

diminutive and august beings, from the child- 
hood of their powers, up to their proudest 
maturity, has been as widely different as the 
climates by which many of them were separated 
from each other; and I trust, you will have vari- 
ous instances, ere you quit this great island,* 
where formerly, it is known, " roamec^ the bear, 
the wolf, and the wild boar," scarce more bar- 
barous than their human associate, to confirm 
the character which has so often been given of 
the English that to be brave, and jealous of 
its LIBERTY, * is natural and hereditary to 



* The characteristics of Liberty in the savage state of 
the Island its extinction in the early stages of our 
Monarchy, its revival and influence in the present civilized 
state of manners, as producing public security, giving rise 
to public works, and calling forth the powers of the mind, 
are given in so animated a style by the amiable Writer who 
has already thrown such a lustre on the subject of this 
Letter, that it would be unjust to him, and unkind to you> 
to withhold them from you particularly, as the performance 
in which they are delineated, being in some measure local, 
(a prize Poem at Oxford and long since out of print,) is o 
course, very scarce at present, and though an acquisition to 
any man who hath preserved it, may never fall into your 
hands besides that i^ better illumines the important history 



2O GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

them, in the first instance, and habitual to them 
in the second that, although they are suffici- 



of British Freedom, than any thing I ever remember to 
have read in our language. 

. " IN Albion's ancient days, 'midst northern snows, 
Hardy and bold, immortal FREEDOM rose. 
She roam'd the sounding margin of the deep, 
Conway's wild bank, andCader's craggy steep: 
A bloody wolf-skin o'er her back was spread ; 
An axe she bore, and wild weeds grac'd her head. 
On Snowdon's cliffs reclin'd, she watch'd on high 
The tempest-driven clouds, that cros&'d the sky ; 
Or caught with listening ear the sounding gale, 

When the dread war-song shook the distant dale. 

At battle's close she roam'd the ensanguin'd plain, 

And gaz'd the threatning aspects of the slain. 

Now from ignoble sloth she> rarely rose, 

For savage Freedom sinks to mute repose ; 

Now to wild joys, and the bowl's madd'mng powers, 
' Gave up the torpid sense and listless hours ; 

Now joyful saw the naked sword' display 'd, 
, Though brother's blood flow'd reeking from the blade, 

By tyrants sunk she rose mo're proudly great, 

AE ocean swells indignant in the strait ; 

And borne in chains from Cambria's mountains bleak, 
Virtue's generous blush on Cesar's cheek. 



" But, ah ! full many a dark and stormy year, 
She dropt o'er Albion's isle the patriot tear. 
Retir'd to mountains, from the craggy dell, 
She t:auht the Norman tyrant's curfew knell: 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. #1. 

ently persevering to endure toil in all the 
'nidus trims, they are lovers of the elegant arts, 

- . - 

Sad to her view the Baron's castle frown'd 

Bold from the steep, and aw'd the plains around ; 

She sorrowing heard the papal thunders roll, 

And mourn' d the ignoble bondage of the soul ; 

She blush'd, O, Cromwell! blush'd at Charles's doom ; 

And wept, misguided Sidney, o'er thy tomb." 

" But NOW REVIV'D, she boasts a purer cause, 
Refin'd by science, form'd by generous laws : 
High hangs her helmet in the banner'd hall, 
Nor^ounds her clarion but at honour's call. 
Now walks the land with olive chaplets crown'd, 
Exalting worth, and beaming safety round : 
With secret joy and conscious pride admires 
The patriot spirit, which herself inspires : 
Sees barren wastes with unknown fruitage bloom ; 
Sees Labour bending patient o'er the loom ; 
Sees Science rove through academic bowers ; 
And peopled Cities lift their spiry towers ; 
Trade swells her sails wherever ocean rolls, 
Glows at the line and freezes at the poles : 
While through unwater'd plains and wond'ring meads 
Waves not its own the obedient river leads." 

' ? ,-| 

" But chief the god-like MIND, which bears impress'd 
Its Maker's glorious image full confest ; 
Noblest of works created ; more divine, 
Than all the starry worlds, that nightly shine ; 
Form'd to live on, unconscious of decay, 
When the wide universe shall melt away : 



23 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

and capable of conducting them to the greatest 
perfection that, if they sometimes err on the 
side of a rough honesty, they seldom offend on 
that of a polished insincerity that, the base 
arts of adulation make no part of the national 
character and that, although, I fear, one can- 
not, truly, give them the graces of that general 
urbanity, which smoothes the path of the 
traveller in your own, and some other coun- 
tries, the more essential duties of generosity, 
pity, and protection, even to their most deter- 
mined foes, have, in various periods of their 
history, and certainly, never more eminently 
than at present done honour to themselves and 
to humanity; and, finally, that compounded 
as they are, of as many nations as the mixtures 
of language they converse in that insipid 
monotone of character which deadens most other 



The MIND which hid in savage breasts of yore, 
Lay like Golconda's gems, an useless ore ; 
Now greatly dares sublimest arms to scan ; 
Enriches Science, and ennobles man ; 
Unveils the semblance, which its God bestow 'd ; 
v And draws more near the fount, from whence it flow'd," 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 3 

countries, is not found in Great Britain ; but 
that a rich, entertaining, energetic and almost 
endless diversity, marks the manners and the 
temper, the thoughts and compositions of its 
native and naturalized inhabitants. 

Amongst these strong virtues and varied 
talents, that there should be a proportionate 
quantum of vice, of folly, and all the shades 
of these from dark to darker ; or that some 
inveterate habits of prejudice, and some deter* 
mined nationalities should therewith blend 
themselves, you will be prepared, by your 
skill in human nature itself; to expect to give 
you, as occurrences arise, some illustrations of 
all these, in a way, that may bring to your 
eye impressively, our MIND AND CHARACTER, 
will be the endeavour of this correspon- 
dence. At the same time, my dear Baron, 
on your arrival in this land of wonders, ten 
thousand peculiarities of great and little, of 
good and evil the former I trust always pre- 
ponderantwill, progressively, open on your eye 
corporeal, and be conveyed to your mental 
vision beyond the powers of pen- or pencil to 



24 GLEANINGS JN ENGLAND* 

pourtray, even though our Shakspeare held the 
one and our Reynolds the other. 

For the geographic description and general 
situation of the Island, you can want no 
guide, as your reading must have long since 
informed you how we stand in the map of the 
world, and in the favour of nature. But were 
such intelligence necessary, I could refer you to 
various auxiliaries, each exhibiting a fair and 
just specimen of the country and its domestic 
historians. These will all tell you, and tell 
you truly, though, I think, not any of them 
more clearly or agreeably than an ingenious 
writer * of a very ingenious family : " That the 
face of- the country affords all the beautiful 
variety which can be formed in the most 
extensive tracts of the globe. In some parts, 
verdant plains extend far as the eye can reach, 
watered by copious streams, and covered with 
innumerable cattle, In others, the pleasing 
vicissitudes of gently-rising hills and bending 
yales, fertile in corn, waving with wood^ 

* Dr f Aikin, 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 25 

and interspersed with meadows, offer the 
most delightful landscapes of rural opulence 
and beauty. Some abound with prospects 
of a , more romantic kind ; lofty mountains^ 
craggy rocks, deep narrow dells, and tum- 
bling torrents : nor are there wanting, as a 
contrast to so many agreeable scenes,, the 
gloomy features of black barren moors, and 
wide uncultivated heaths." 

When we come to illustrate, by particular 
proofs, this general account, and when you 
have tried those proofs by the criticism of the 
living eye, and the confirming heart, I feel 
assured, that you will allow the justice of an 
opinion that has for ages prevailed, and been 
circulated concerning us, that no country in 
the world can equal the cultivated parts of Eng- 
land for the great number of beautiful scenes, 
with which it is adorned. The variety of high 
and low lands, both of them forming prospects 
that fill the most luxuriant imagination the 
richness of the corn fields the freshness of the 
pasture grounds the intermixture of plantation 
enclosure the majestic seats, comfortable 



26 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 

houses, cheerful villages, enviable cots, and 
well-stocked farms, sometimes animating the 
most retired parts of the country, and sometimes 
rising in the neighbourhood of well-populated 
towns, and magnificent cities, decorating the 
most vivid colours of nature, with the most in- 
genious and useful aids of art all these, afford 
a .proud delight to the native, and must impress 
every man, of every other country, with a con- 
viction of its being, indeed) the Queen of 
Isles. 

Of its climate, we shall have much to say as 
we pass on: meantime, we may boldly assert, 
with the sensible Delineator above quoted, that, 
although England is situated in the northern 
part of the temperate zone, no country is 
cloathed with so beautiful and lasting a verdure, 
and that the rigours of winter and the heats of 
summer are felt in a much less degree than in 
parallel climates on the Continent while the 
sea-ports of Holland, and of your country, my 
loved friend, are every winter locked up with 
ice, ours are never known to suffer this incon- 
venience. I am aware, however, you havo 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 27 

heard so much of our heavy atmosphere, and 
its melancholy consequences, that it will require 
far more eloquence than is in the possession of 
your present correspondent, to prove, that even 
this humour of our air is attended with various 
benefits. And though you will find all this 
set down, right patriotically, in our written 
books, and maintained in our conversations, 
ocular demonstration alone can satisfy you, that 
the diversity of our weather secures the island 
from those extremes of heat and cold to which 
other nations, within the same degree of latitude, 
are annually exposed, and that it is to this mode- 
ration of the air and variegation of the weather, 
that we live to as great an age as in any part of 
Europe. But the prejudice of our fogs, and the 
vaporous evils they are presumed to engender,* 
even to the mixing with our blood, till they 
convert us into self-murderers is, I know, so 
strong, that I prepare you for my determined, 
yet warrantable, vindication' of my country on 
this matter, so often as an opportunity of defence 
presents itself. In the mean while, the remark 
of one of our British monarchs, as recorded by 



28 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND; 

Sir William Temple, deserves a place in your 
memory, and I take it from that writer, that, 
it may be ready for your use when, you. are our 
guest. It was, we are told, an observation' of our 
Second Charles, in reply to some persons who 
were reviling our climate. " That," said the king, 
"is the best climate where a man can be abroad 
in the air with the most pleasure, on -at least/ 
without trouble or inconvenience the most dayp 
in the year, and the most hours in a day, , and 
that I can be in England." 

It would be repetition of a common school- 
boy fact to tell you, that civil policy has dis- 
tributed the kingdom into fifty- two counties or 
shires; of which, according to the delineator's 
perspicuous arrangement, there are six northern, 
four bordering on Wales, twelve midland, eight 
eastern, three south-eastern, four southern, three' 
south-western, six of North Wales, and six of 
South Wales: nor should I have -mentioned 
this division, had our correspondence been 
limited to your own eye; but, as I design, 
it to endeavour at 'a more general service to 
foreigners, after it has, in the first instance, paid 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 2g 

its homage to you, the little time which has 
been consumed in this, to you, superfluous 
communication., will be forgiven! 

You will now suffer me to be your reporter 
and precursor as the affections may lead ; but at 
present, you will be glad of a short pause, in 
the interval of which, I am proud to subscribe 
myself, very faithfully yours. 



SO GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND* 



LETTER 111. 



Bromley, Kent., May 30, 17Q8. 

intention, was to have set out, in 
my accustomed way, by gentle stages. 

" Sedate to think, and watching each event," 
even with the first fair day, as I before men- 
tioned, that should succeed the period of closing 
my introductory Letter. My purpose was^ to 
direct my course from the metropolis of the 
British empire, to one of its celebrated univer- 
sities; making a pause at Cambridge which, 
as a seminary of British education, and for the 
literary and sacred awe that a sight of its classic 
edifices inspires, is one of the places every 
stranger should visit ; and from thence to have 
taken a circuitous tour into different parts of 
Norfolk, Suffolk, and Huntingdonshire ; not, 
because those divisions of England afford the 
best opportunity of giving you a first favourable 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 31 

impression ; but, because,, I stood pledged to 
several beloved friends, and relations, in each of 
those counties, to parcel out the present summer 
amongst them; and as it is sometimes good 
policy to begin the display of what we have in 
store for curiosity or for friendship, with the less 
commanding articles as dealers in sights, 
artfully conduct you to the minuter objects, 
before they usher you to the proudest, and 
largest of all their lions, whether the said lions 
be dead or alive I imagined it would be a 
measure of dexterity and prudence, to introduce 
you to our gradual 7 ascents, easiest declivities, 
and softest scenery, before I took you to 
the depths of our precipice, and summits of 
our mountains? Perhaps, too, a consciousness 
that we could do nothing with you in stupen- 
dous heights, and dizzy eminences, till I had 
beguiled you from the lofty ideas and feelings 
which the tour you made last Autumn of the 
sublimities of Switzerland must have inspired, 
might secretly enter into my plan of presenting 
you to the contrasting views of verdant tran- 
quillity and scenes of content- where indeed, 



33 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 

Nature herself, seems to seek relief from her 
magnificence her cloud-piercing rock, terrific 
steep, and unfathomed abyss, to take repose 
amongst her lawns, recover her serenity in a less 
aspiring clime, and condescends, herself to be- 
come a cottager, in a.n English cottage, my friend, 
where, I hope to shew you, the Goddess has not 
been a niggard of her favours, and that if she 
has not fixed the humbler dwellings of our land 
on the cloud-top'd hill, or beneath the luxury 
pf a voluptuous sky, she has permitted her lowly 
children to rear them amidst the violets of the 
field and the lilies of the vale, and where, so 
far from their being despoiled, or invaded as in 
some prouder climes, where neither a volup- 
tuous sky, nor the cloud-top'd hill are se- 
cure from violation, there lives not a man, 
who, unpermitted, dares to pluck one fragrant 
leaf! 

Yes, I certainly had some" motive like this> 
mingling with ofhers, for intending to visit our 
least ambitious counties first. But my design 
has been long interrupted. Sickness, my dear 
Baron, which so frequently suspends, or wholly 
2 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 33 

frustrates all the proud arrangements of feeble 
mortals in their journey of life, fell on my plans 
a few hours after I had dispatched to you my 
second letter from London, where I have been 
confined from that date to the present ; a lapse 
of the fairest of the spring months, out of which 
I have only been able to rescue one little week, 
which, Change of air being thought indispen- 
sable, I have passed at the place of address, a 
small town in Kent, situated at' the distance 
only of twelve miles from London, and for 
which, besides its being the residence of some 
beloved friends, is endeared to me by other 
considerations I shall mention in their place. I 
am much recovered. 

That the purest air should assist in producing 
the purest pleasure, both of thoughts and feel- 
ings, is natural. It is reasonable, that the imagery 
of nature, in the diversity of her beauties, 
pressing on the eye, and entering into the heart, 
should not a little dispose to such sensations and 
ideas. Persons, resident in the country, may, per- 
haps, be less susceptible of this than its occasional 
visitors. We know that the constant sight of 

VOL. IV. D 



34 CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

the most captivating objects invariably dimi- 
nishes their attraction. Indeed, we seem to 
have neither eyes nor ears for what forms a 
necessary part of our daily and hourly inter- 
course. This must, however, be understood 
of things inanimate : the loveliest flower may 
bloom and die unheeded by him whose villa is 
situated in the midst of a garden ; and the finest 
ring of bells will scarcely be heard, or at least 
with little distinction of sounds, by those persons 
who live in the precincts of a. church. Yet, in 
a general sense, none of these persons may want 
taste or feeling ; some may have even a relish 
of natural beauty, and some may be enamoured 
of musick : a similar flower blooming in any 
remote garden, though neglected in their own, 
or in their neighbours; and even a less harmo- 
nious set of bells in a distant church might call 
forth their attention, and excite their applause. 
We will not entangle this fact with abstract 
reasoning, my dear Baron ; it is obvious enough 
that an unwearied familiarity with objects the 
jpost beautiful and sublime, (and those of 
vegetation are certainly of -this kind,) makes 



IN ENGJLANP. 35: 

them literally "fade ir* the eye/' even if they 
do not ec pall upon the sense.'* 

Never, perhaps, has this remark been more, 
Strongly confirmed than in this visit to Bromley, 
after so many months residence in London, 
amidst the perplexities of business, and the 
languors of indisposition. I arrived > and have 
had my vernal banquet, you see, before this 
most charming month * of the twelve has shone 
itself away. The contrast has been extraordi- 
nary : the sensations of your correspondent have 
been like what might be supposed to attend a 
person, who, after a long and disturbed state of 
slumber, in which he had been dreaming of 
clouds of dust, and of smoke, of unmitigating 
heat, and of corroding cares, has, by a change 
in his vision, found his imagination at length 
conveying him to scenes the reverse of these. 
Early in the morning I paid my acknowledgment 
to every object; the Sun and all which he 
warms and blesses with life, were in the prime 



* May. 
D 2 



36 CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

of their magick ; ," and although all was frolick 
and song, kind words, and smiling faces around, 
and above, sufficient to diffuse smiles and joy 
through the world, I do not believe, that within 
its round there could have been seen a happier 
being than your friend. Mending in health, 
and my spirits, every hour this felicity has 
continued increasing through the week. O 
what a space for man to confess he has been 
most happy ! Blest Gleaner ! thy felicity broke 
forth in song ; spontaneous emotions in which 
every man feels something of the poet. The 
thoughts and feelings of the lay were suggested 
by the immediate objects. These, at such a 
season, amid such scenery, are always abundant : 
from those* you will accept a 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 37 



SUMMER TRIBUTE TO NATURE. 

. ffi^v; on) nrrA 



YE vocal copses, and ye hedge-rows small, 
And all your tuneful tenantry : ye trees 
Of forest stature in yon monarch wood, 
And every harmonist which ye embower, 
Accept the greeting of a friend ! all hail ! 

Hail to the lane by many a verdant curve 
Conducting to the mead ; a brook unseen, 
But not unheard, musician of the way ; 
The swallow's mazy windings, now transverse, 
And now direct, and twittering as she flies : 
The gentle redbreast, hopping in my path ; 
The youngling lamb, gay foal, and new-fledg'd bird 
Trying its wing, now enterprizing bold, 
And timid now, as dubious of its powers : 
The tinkling bell upon the leader sheep, 
Aiid Thou, my unambitious friend, poor wren> 
Whom in that hedge-row, lowly as thyself, 
But full of sweets, upon thy nest, I see. 

Welcome the thicket blackbird's echoing note, 
And even thy chirp, unheeded as it is 
By rural swains, familiar with the sound, 



38 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND* 

Unvaried as the lapwing's, sparrow trim ! 

Hail to thy thrilling strain, sad philomel ; 

And the 'deep foliage where invisible 

Thou pour'st thy widows-soul, O moaning dove ! 

Welcome that well-known walk between the wheat, 
Allowing scarce a faot-way to the step 
Of solitary wanderer,- yet broad t 
And rich in golden promise speed it, heaven I 
In the abundant hope of social good, 
Ye lovers, blest to wreathe the tender arm, 
Around the chosen fair, O be content, 
Though the scant way admits not bosom friend, 
To follow close the steps of her you love, 
Rather than make more wide .the waving fence, : 
Big with the bread of life and, happy, think 
Each ear contains a blessing for the poor. 

f cTi!frJ 

Nor is thy note, O mourner Linnet loth', ? 

~ * ' '-'*> jt ' ' 

Whom yonder knot of ruth'less boys, have spoil'd 

Of all thy summer hopes, to me unwelcome. 
For, from the little robbers I've redeem'd 
Thy feeble- progeny, and thus, replace, 
Their trembling limbs e'en in the cradle small 
Which thou hast made ; there thy warm bosom, soon- 
Shall hush to rest their terrors and thine own. 

Sweet fields ! I love ye for yourselves 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

Unsullied by one interested thought ; 
For not a pasture, nor a lamb ye feed, 
Nor one sweet bird, nor yet the lowliest shrub 
That bowers him while he sings, or holds 
His green recess, your Bard can call his own ; 
But his warm HEART has property in all, 
And, haply, more enjoys of each the sweets 
Than they who proudly think the world is theirs ! 



Ah, how my spirit freshens, as I taste 
That life-restoring breeze ! I climb the hill, < 
T?o meet the heavenly visitant. I seem 
To feed upon the vernal banquet as it blooms j 
'Tis life renew'd ! and after sickness too ! 
And care-corroding months in the dim town, 
Where head-long driven amidst the mass of things, 
Dizzy and indistinct, the head confus'd, 
And a long winter's fever on the mind 
Has prey'd ! Escap'd from that rude roar ! 
There's not a blade of grass, nor insect green 
It nourishes ; -but has a secret charm. 
These, and a myriad more, the Summer Train I 
Umiam'd, unnumber'd, are to feeling dear. 

Thou, fair example of economy, 
Assiduous Bee ! culling thy honied freight 
From yonder baftk of variegated sweets ;' 



4O jGLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

While, o'er thy head, that thriftless Butterfly, 
Pursues his vagrant course irregular, 
An idle flutterer of a summer hour 
Unwarn'd by thee, and the congenial tribe 
That underneath the blossom where thou sitst 
Have rear'd their small, yet throng'd Republick* 

And thou, my faithful Tiny? household friend, 
Who though twelve months of absence has elaps'd 
Since last we met an age in thy short span ! 
Flew to my lap, and with an honest joy 
Confessed a friend ! most welcome thy true love ! 
Ah, longer livers, who have greater cause 
To recognize the hand that gave them bread 
And held the cordial to their famish'd lip, 
In jfcr less time have prov'd ingrate. On thee 
What more has been bestow'd than the small crumbs 
Ev'n from the genial board, where I, like thee, 
Was but a guest. J gave thy perquisite 
Haply a little earlier, but reserved 
for Tiny's banquet : yet thy memory 
Of this scant boon retains a kinder sense 
Than thou, Avaro, who, in one short day, 
The day of trouble too, forgot the man 



* The name of a sjnall dog. 



^GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 41 

Who from a wreck built up thy bark again, 

And sent thee proudly on a golden voyage, 

From whence return'd thou saw'st thy helping friend, 

Saw'st thy preserver struggling with the storm, 

And left Jiim to the billow 

Nature come ! 

Come with thy flow'ry herbs and healing balms, 
And bring along more than Lethean streams, 
To cure a wound like this -Hail woods profound, 
That shield the Poet from his thankless friend I 

And thou, O MUSE ! too long deserted maid, 
Yet in full crouds remember'd ah, accept 
Again thy truant votary ; deign to tune 
Once more his lyre, and arm it with new sounds 
To soothe his mind disorder'd, fit to taste 
The gay, the solemn, through fair nature's works. 

Welcome all These, and ev'n the deep'ning din 
Of echoing cannon from the neighbouring port, 
And of 'yon drum obtrusive, for it sounds 
To guard my native land and these fair scenes 
From nature's direst foe, abhorrent war ! 

But far more welcome ev'n than these fair scenes,. 
Or the lov'd MUSE herself, the greeting look 
Qf rural FRIBNDS ! for still the joy supreme 
Of social man must spring from human kind! 



42 -GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

And yon poor almsman living on the gate 
He scarce can open to the passenger, 
Into whose well-remember'd cap of serge 
My Poet purse has each returning year 
Drop't its scant mite, and blest it as it fell, 
Speaks in the silent language of his smile, 

:w& i_ i 

To see me once again, more near my heart, 

, , , * , T iioJfi ftcindJ 
And in the deepen d wrinkle that I trace 

In his sunk cheek since last I bade farewell 
Than all the sounds of Nature's minstrelsy "' 
Which have mine ear regal'd in this green walk, 

Or all the blossoms which the sun has pour'4 .+ 

',','. '-.> ,f.-,v :> "ivxitil/fr'3'" .MJfi-i',) In,* n$. JOt 
To charm mine eye, into the lap of May. 

THRICE welcome then, my FRIENDS! for" ye can 

4 </? 
give - t ^ 

Fresh perfume to the rose : Ah, whether placed 
In spacious halls beneath the sculptured roof, 
Or the small cottage, where the ivy climbs 
The wall of clay, ev'n to the idle moss 
And useful houseleek on the broken thatch^ 
A recollection, equal, fond and true 
Await my village favourites, to prove 
They are the sovereigns of the scene ! * tkars, 



* MAJOR JOHN SCOTT has a seat at Bromley ; and while 
Friendship, pure from the ordeal, marked by indefatigable^ 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 4 

The high prerogatives of scepter'd man, 
And all things else, bird, beast, stream, herb, 
Subordinate ; reflected from their power, 
As the sun's ray lends lustre to the moon, 

'.",; i v ' . ri . j'i ''i . -VjiiVX !jTi'y !' ' IJJiJ'J' tJiii il/'v li^..! -1 

O ! let me haste to yonder rustick seat 
Which circles the huge trunk of that old oak 
Upon the furzy heath, where memory flies 
Back to the hour, when, in my boyish time 
I sat and listen'd to the voice of Truth, 
Reason and Wit, and polish'd Elegance, 
Breath'd from the lips of one, who aptly join'd 
The Sage's wisdom, with the Poet's lore,* 



perhaps by unexampled diligence in the most arduous cause 
that ever engaged the attention of men, explaining and 
defending it almost alone against a host for many years 
even the cause of WARREN HASTINGS of whom you have 
long since possessed my opinion, and it is now the opinion of 
the greatest part of mankind while SUCH a friendship is held 
sacred amongst us, the conduct of this gentleman will be 
precious even had his efforts ultimately failed as much as 
they have succeeded, 

MAJOR SCOTT has recently added to his name that of 
WARING, to which is annexed a spacious residence, and 
aome ample possessions; but, wherever he and his family 
Iremove as benevolence will certainly form part of the house., 
hold, it is to be hoped, gratitude will follow. 

* Doctor HAWKESWORTH; on whose beautiful and various 
literature it will be amongst my delights in reserve, to 



4 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 

My Tutor and my Friend, and skill'd alike 
To move the fancy, and to mend the heart. 
'Twas to this bench we oft repair'd ; yon spire 
We oft have yiew'd together now, alas ! 
It marks the church-yard where his reliques lie : 
There will I speed, arid bending o'er the sod, 
Breathe from my grateful soul the prayer which oft 
That soul has pour'd on HAWKESWORTH'S undeck'd 
grave ! 

Hail social Joy ! and welcome social Grief ! 
And these sweet scenes where both alternate woo 
The tender heart. 

O ! what again shall draw me from these bounds 
Where, with blest Nature, Peace and Pleasure reign, 
Withflow'rs and fragrance crown'd? What sound i$ 

that? 

Hark! 'tis the MAIL-HORN'S interesting note- 
My eager step pursues it, passes quick 
The meads, the shades, unheeded presses on 
To hear, tilings of thee, Agenor good, 



expatiate when we meet ; an Author, who to as much of 
the strength of our Johnson, as was either useful or agreeable, 
added the sweetness and amenity in which that great writer 
was deficient : and the same distinction marked their man- 
ners as men. 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 45 1 

Left in the world divided from thyself, 
Thy dearer self: or else, perchance, of thec 
Unfortunate Cleone : or thou, Friend, 
Whose annual promise soon should be fulfill'd, 
My youth's first Mentor. Yes, there is a lure, 
Stronger than verdure's magick, or the charm 
Of feather'd choristers, or rural scenes* 
Or happy maidens, or aught happy else 
The potent spell that draws me to the spot 
Where those I love are sorrowing Shades, adieu t 

Without entering farther into the description 
of the favourite little village, which has fur- 
nished my Muse with these slight touches of her 
pencil, I shall just note, that, in the year Q5 5+ 
one of our early monarchs, Edgar, is said to 
have presented the manor to the bishops of 
Rochester, who have still a palace here ; that, 
on the episcopal ground, a mineral spring of 
the quality of the Tunbridge waters invites the 
valetudinarians but invites in vain being too 
near home I mean the metropolis-home for 
any body, but a few stray patients whom the 
doctors force to the fountain, and whom busi- 
ness, or finances, limit to the nearest remedies. 



46 GLEANINGS IN ENGtANJ>* 

But though the Bromley mineral, has beeri 
.proved, by a chemical analysis, to be 'more 
strongly impregnated with the salutary particles 
that form the basis of the other water, and 
though Fashion cannot get to Tunbridge 
without passing Bromley, the few well-bred 
invalids who really are sent to the former for 
health, never think of stopping to take a 
draught from the neglected stream of the latter, 
but speed to the more polite fountain, where 
health, and the soft vanities 'of life, may be 
united* 

, There is a college in this village sacred to 
clergymen's widows, erected by one of the 
bishops of Rochester, Dr. Warner, v, descend- 
ant from whom, is one of the most extraordinary 
existing characters of our Island of whom in 
his order. 

The county of KENT is too important a 
part of England, upon all accounts,- to be passed 
by thus transientlybut it must be the object 
of some future tour. This sketch of a par- 
ticular spot, however, will, I hope, be received 
as no unfavourable specimen of what it has to 
1 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 4f 

-offer, when the . hour of its gleaning shall 
come. 

Meanwhile, I cannot but point out to your 
heart a little village on the return to London 
from this place called LEE ; not on account of 
the Hamlet itself, though that, being environed 
by the villas on Blackheath, is pleasant; but 
for the sake of some very singularly affectionate 
circumstances which attach more to the reposi- 
tories of the dead than the mansions of the 
living. 

In the church-yard of the above-named 
village, are deposited the remains of the Right 
Hon. Trevor Charles Roper Baron DACRE, 
who is preserved to the memory by more 
powerful ties upon it than his wealth and tides ; 
or the common traditions of his having been 
born on one day, and died on another. Suffer 
me to lead you, with consecrating steps, to what 
better separates him from the surrounding and 
oblivious mass of Mortality. You will one 
day, I i trust, read the whole of the inscription 
graven on his tomb : Meanwhile, I shall offer 
you a partial extract. 



48 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

" His afflicted widow, as a testimony of 
their distinguished and unclouded union, for 
upwards of twenty years; their unexampled 
happiness, and of the unbounded confidence in 
which they lived; and as a sincere token of her 
real gratitude for his uniform, endearing affec- 
tion, and particular generosity, her deep-felt 
sorrow, and tenderest remembrance, has erected 
this unadorned monument, and herself inserted 
these well-known truths to his beloved me- 
mory, accounting them most consonant to the 
purity of his life, his mild disposition, his 
amiable temper, and genuine character." 

This conjugal tribute proceeds in the same 
strain, and closes with the mourner's assurance, 
that " she submits, with pious faith, to the will 
of her GOD, and trusts in the same intercession 
to his mercy with brightest hopes of re-union 
in eternal bliss." 

In the spirit of this attachment, she has acted 
ever since the aera of her loss, to the present 
hour ; and will, probably, continue so to deport 
herself to the latest of her life ; at least, while 
the power is given her to walk, or to be con- 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 4Q 

veyed to the sacred spot where she has en- 
shrined her heart 

Lady Dacre has been in the practice of visit* 
ing the grave of her husband twice a day since 
the time of his burial : and as very many of 
the inhabitants of the village, report, once in 
each night* She has agreed with a person to 
keep the precincts of the tomb sacred from 
every prophanity both of ill accident, and 
malicious design : indeed, from the elements 
and winds of Heaven, which she literally will 
not suffer " to visit the grave too roughly." 
While J was marking these reflections with my 
pencil, I observed the lady who had called them 
forth, coming towards the church-yard with 
hasty and anxious steps, which, on perceiving I 
was seated on the style, she directed to a smaller 
gate, but found it locked, and seemed much 
disappointed. Unwilling to interrupt her pious 
progress, I quitted the style, when, bending in 
acknowledgment, she passed into the church- 
yard, but was again diverted from her purpose ; 
a party of people, it being Sunday, were hasting 
to the tomb, in order to read, as I had done, 

VOL. iv, E 



5O .0LEANTNGS IN ENGLAND. .:'; *-' 

its inscription. The throng increasing by the 
entrance of some additional company, her lady- 
ship went back into the road, where she re- 
mained walking backwards and forwards within 
'#iew of the church-yard, till the intruders had 
left it> when returning to the spot from which 
she had been so long withheld, she redoubled her 
attention, and I saw her, while I stood aloof, 
myself unseen, kneel in reverence at the foot of 
the grave, where, after remaining some time, I 
presume in prayer, she went back to the villa 
where in his life time she had so long been 
blest in the society of him she now bewails. 

Such are the matin and vesper, if not, likewise, 
the midnight, homages of her affianced heart. 
Yet, certain singularities of dress, and of manner, 
with the yet greater singularity of an attachment 
so long faithful to the ashes of its object, and, 
perhaps, a barbed regret in her bosom that 
makes her inattentive to, if it does not even 
absorb all thought or care of the world's usages, 
have brought on her, I understand, much of 
that wild conjecture, malign interpretation, and : 
unseemly ridicule, which are always attendant 
7 



. . r . 
GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 51 

upon every one who deviates from the ordinary 
ceremonies of life. And whosoever presumes to 
think, to act, or to feel for themselves, are set 
down either as affected or insane. To disregard 
prescribed forms and ceremonies, even in our 
joys or sorrows, is considered as setting at defi- 
ance the arbitrary laws of society ; thus our very 
smiles and tears are in awe of " the world's dread 
laugh ;" and it is hard to say where the controul 
of fashion may stop, or how far her capricious 
system may dispossess sweet and simple Nature 
of her rights. She has already taught mothers 
to deny the sustenance of their own bosoms to 
their own offspring ; near and dear relatives to 
look upon it as ill-bred to follow a parents, or a 
child's coffin to the grave, and to content 
themselves with performing the last sacred 
offices by proxy a task consigned to hired 
mourners and to be caught visiting the tomb 
of a lover, wife or husband, oftener than the 
imperious modes of the world allow, may not, it 
seems, in these refined times, pass uncensured. 

Hallowed, however, be the tender and 
generous fortitude, and sacred be the pious 

2 



$2 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

griefs that are superior to, and that" resist such 
contemptible dominion over all the ribald jests 
and insults, that a reverence for natural impression 
induces. And who, my dear Baron, that has 
duly contemplated the varieties by which he is 
surrounded, many of which are, no doubt, ap- 
propriate to his own peculiar modes of being 
acted upon, and acting, shall dare to accuse any 
form of words or actions, to express joy or woe, 
as the results of affectation, hypocrisy or mad- 
ness, because similar sensations are displayed by 
himself or others, by different signs and tokens ? 
A genuine felicity or anguish may be felt by 
a thousand enraptured or suffering beings with 
equal truth, and often with equal force ; but the 
external forms and ceremonies maybe diversified, 
even as the causes of our happiness and woe. 
Affliction drives some to the depths of solitude, 
to mourn, unseen, like the wounded deer ; but it 
impels others to rush into society, even though 
in the hour of gladness they might have cherished 
a love of, the shade : the effect is different, the 
causes^ as to the sincerity of the emotion, the 
same. Gop knows, my friend, there is enough 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 53 

of pretention, trick, and parade ' in this world; 
with respect to our feelings, our passions,, and 
our principles; and the shadow is but too fre- 
quently mistaken for the substance ! But in the* 
name of that liberality which 'we all stand in* 

r.."f- ". *P * f* " 

need of, let us not impute to ostentation, or to 
fraud, whatever deviates from ourselves, where 
the deviations are only in manner, or the usual 
customs of life. And as to the mourner which 
gave occasion to these remarks, if there should 
still be any persons disposed to scoff at, or 
disbelieve the faithful sentiment that has long 
conducted her to the place where most things 
are forgotten the mansions of the DEAD; let 
them condescend to imitate her bounty to the 
LIVING. Let their charities emulate her's, and 
if by the kinder allotment of Providence if we : 
may dare to call it kinder they have no rela- 
tive or friend in the grave to lament : if they 
have none of her misery, let them be animated 
by the spirit of her benevolence. In this there 
can be no mockery. It is an active spirit, that 
literally goes about to do good. Of which as 
it is no less difficult to make the doubters of 



54 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

sorrow, and of the affection on which it is 
founded, believe that it can continue its duties 
after its object has long mingled with the dust, 
in the manner they are cherished and practised 
by Lady Dacre, than to credit that beneficence 
may be powerful as love, even in a bosom where 
that sorrow has established a throne let the 
whole neighbourhood of Lee, lend vigour to 
their faith, even if it cannot animate their 
virtue.* 



* Nor, even in an age that is marked by wedded infi- 
delity, must this be considered as a solitary instance of the 
unabated love, that not seldom in this country survives the life 
of its object nor need we confine such demonstration of 
attachment to this example of the widow bewailing her 
Lord. An equal tribute of constancy has recently been paid, 
as I am informed, while this Work is at press by a 
husband lamenting his wife, the late Countess of KERRY ; 
and never did any one carry with her to the grave more 
general regret, or more universal esteem. For the pro- 
found affliction of the Earl there is no language. A simple 
monument, as an emblem of the simplicity which form- 
ed a part of her living character, is to be erected over her 
tomb in St. Andrew's chapel, Westminster-Abbey, on which 
is to be placed the following inscription : 

" To the affectionately beloved and honoured memory of 
ANASTATIA, Countess of KERRY, who departed this life on 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND* 55" 

the 9th, and was deposited here on "the 1 8th day of April, 
1-799. Her most afflicted husband, FRANCIS THOMAS, Earl 
of KERRY, whom she rendered, during 31 years, the hap- 
piest of mankind, not only by an affection which was bounded 
only by her love for. her GOD, and to which there never was 
a single moment's interruption, but also by the practice of 
the purest religion and piety, of charity and benevolence, of 
truth and sincerity, of the sweetest and most angelic meek-' 
ness and simplicity, and of every virtue that can adorn the 
human mind, has placed this inscription to bear testimony of 
^iis gratitude to her, of his admiration of her innumerable 
virtues, and of his most tender and affectionate love for her. 
Intending (when it shall please GOD to release him from his 
misery, and call him from this world) to be deposited with- 
her here in the same coffin. And hoping that his merciful 
GOD will consider the severe blow which it has pleased his 
Divine Will to inflict upon him, in taking from him the 
dearest, the most beloved, the most. charming, and the most 
faithful and affectionate companion that ever blessed man, 
together with the weight of his succeeding sorrows, as an 
expiation of his past offences ; and that he will grant him 
his grace so to live as that he may, through his Divine 
Mercy, and through the precious intercession of our blessed 
LORD and SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST, hope for the blessing of 
being soon united with her in eternal happiness." 

In every line of this effusion, the lover, hufband and 
widower are manifest, and shew themselves so much superior 
to all set forms of expression, all study about the construction, 
of sentiments, the very redundancies and repetitions de- 
noting a melting tenderness, and fervid sincerity, that the 
affection and the sorrow may be sworn to as genuine: 
the thoughts and the language equally discover a heart over* 
flowing with grief; and when the mourner marked on the 
paper his impassioned intention to be deposited with the dear 



56 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

object of which he was bereaved, I doubt not he would, in 
that moment, have preferred death to existence, that he 
might have immediately shared her coffin, could his life 
have been resigned without offending the SAVIOUR, whose 
intercession he had invoked. But to whatever extent his 
days may be lengthened, there is in the whole of this monu- 
mental tribute such an earnest of adamantine faith and truth, 
that if ever the variableness of human nature, and all the 
circumstances which produce it, can be set at defiance, this, 
methinks, will be an instance wherein there can be no shadow 
of changing. And though, perhaps, that fidelity may take, 
externally, a different shape from that of the fore-mentioned 
votaress of grief, the principle will be as ardent, as pure, 
arid as immutable. 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 



LETTER 



NORTH RUNCTON, NORFOLK, 
July 16, 17Q8. 

OURELY the demon of disappointment had 
fixed my foot, as by a spell !" I have been en- * 
chained in town another of the lovely months 
by unyielding circumstances, even till a few 
hours only remained to keep sacred my promise 
to a family, which resides a hundred miles from 
the capital. 

It may, however, serve as no bad specimen of 
our English carriages and horses, to mention 
the speed with which I have been conveyed 
over the said hundred miles and, for the most 
part, during the hours of darkness. 

How shall I gain credit from my Continental 
friends in general? though you, I know, will 
rely upon the fidelity of my report, when I 
desire those who have been accustomed to the 



58 CLEANINGS IN 

sickly movement of the reluctant wheel -over 
German leagues of absorbing sand- where man, ' 
beast and machine so heavily are they moved 
along, -appear to be alike torpid pardon 
me, my friend how shall I dare even to ask 
such to believe, that an Englishman may take 
his seat at nine o'clock of the evening in a 
common, public vehicle of this country pro- 
foundly r atmospherical, and constitutionally 
saturnine, as we have been . deemed ! and be 
rolled, boundingly, over the almost velvet sur- 
face of one hundred miles by the corresponding 
hour of the morning ? and 'that, in comparison 
of the Dutch, Persian or German stages, almost 
without being sensible of any motion at all ? 

Foreigners, unfamiliar to such luxury., might 
think that the feathered Mercury was convey- 
ing them on his own pinion, or flying with them 
in a chariot of gossamer. Yet this velocity is * 
an ordinary fact, which even' man in England 
can attest ; and if a traveller can bear the expence 
of what we call going post, that is, in one of 
our post-ehaises, more than double I believe I 
might venture to say, nearly treble the num-* 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 5 

her of miles might be measured in the same 
space of time. 

What ! methinks I hear some of my Con* 
tinental friends, just unpacked from a German 
post waggon, as you call your stage coaches*-^ 
things, which you will soon have the candour to, 
allow, are but very awkward and mis-shapen 
imitations of our broad-wheel waggon & huge 
piece of workmanship made use of to convey 
sacks, tubs, boxes, barrels, household furniture, 
and other dead-weight luggage What ! Mon- 
sieur le Baron, would this correspondent of yours 
attempt to persuade us, his cloudy countrymen 
are whirled in their airy chariots at this rate ? then 
may we believe that Phaeton did, indeed, assail 
the regions of the Sun, and that the winged steeds 
of Apollo, and of Jove himself, are outstripped 
by the public stage-coaches,* and post-chaises 
of Great Britain ! 

. -. - 

* Attend to what one of your own countrymen, the 
liberal and" good-humoured MORITZ, who performed a pedes- 
trian journey of a few weeks through several parts-of our 
island in 1782: and which is preserved in DR. MAYOR'S 
valuable compendium of the most celebrated British Tourists, 



GO GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

I make all possible allowance, my dear Baron, 
fof this incredulity on your side of the great 
gulph that separates us : and though every joint 
of me has often borne witness to the truth the 
aching truth of my assertion when, in, or after, 
a long, sad, solemn, slow and dizzy drag, from 
one town to another, across the tracts of almost 

Arabian sands -not to say desarts, of some parts 

-: r i ' . # -W . V;;H 



a candid and elegant selection, which shall go to you with 
my full, commendation. 

" Our little party, says Mr. Moritz, now got into two 
$ost-chtiiscs. These carriages are very neat, and lightly 
built, so that you hardly perceive their motion, as they roU 
along the firm smooth roads ; they have windows in front, 
and on both sides. The horses are generally good, and the 
postillions particularly smart and active, and always ride on 
a full trot. A thousand charming spots and beautiful land- 
scapes, on which my eye would long have dwelt with 
rapture, were now rapidly passed with the speed of an 



Mr. Moritz's succeeding remarks are extremely natural 
and amiable. " Our road," continues he, " appeared to be 
undulatory : and our journey, like the journey of life, 
seemed to be a pretty regular alternation of up hill and 
down, and here and there it was diversified with copses and 
woods : the majestic Thames every now and then, like a 
little forest of masts, rising to our view, and anon losing 
itself among the delightful towns and villages.'* 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 6l 

of the Continent, I must own I have, been able- 
to endure it only by the promise of finding 
better tilings at the end of them a promise 
which, I confess, has been amply performed. 
Yet I will be content, even r by you, my candid 
friend, to be thought a prejudiced v reporter, tilt 
you have tried the assertion here advanced, and 
confirmed it. 

In the mean while, I hazard nothing by 
observing, that though it is certainly a pecu- 
liar remark had we no attraction except our 
Roads to .draw foreigners to England, they 
would be well paid for their journey by the 
voluptuous novelty of passing from one extre- 
mity of the island to the other, in our little 
portable parlours, and wheeled drawing-rooms, 
with an ease, expedition and elegance, of which 
no other people in Europe can offer of which, 
indeed, they cannot conceive even an idea. 

Into one of these public vehicles, then, but 
into one on the last, best principle of improve- 
ment, I was carried along a public road, after 
evening tea ; over which, had not my mind 
been otherwise occupied, I might have toyed 



62 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

with a book, or played with the tea-spoon, in 
Contemplation or vacancy; and yet, without 
any apparent hurry, and no confusion, I was 
ready to meet the N birth-day friends at a 
villa, more than a hundred miles distant from 
London ! In truth, almost as soon as the sun 
gilded the anniversary with his beams ; too 
soon even for a rural breakfast, and by half a 
day too early for a wel}-bred town dtjune ; and 
in repetition, I must desire you not to forget, 
that I began my journey while that blessed 
orb was yet cheering my path with his setting 
beams. 

It is from that villa, then, I now address 
you in the language of our MONARCH BARD,* 
whom, when you come better to understand 
than any foreigner seems yet to have done 
and I know it is one of the motives of your 
intended residence amongst us so to do you 
will, I am persuaded, feel, foetitally speaking, 



* It is scarce necessary to tell even foreigners, I mean 
Shakspcare, 



GLEANIKGS. IN EttGLA&Di 03 

to be the Sovereign not only of Great Britain, 
but of the great globe itself. In his language, 
I must, 

-" Humbly pray you. 

To o'erleap the space between, and to admit 

y 

The excuse of time, and of due course of things, ' 
Which cannot, in the huge and proper life 
Be now presented ; since I thus have flown' 
In motion of scarce less celerity 
Than that of Thought.'' 

My engagement was sacred, and the great 
Disposer only left me time to keep it holy, 
even with the aid of British STEEDS, British 
ROADS, and British CONVEYANCES, three of 
our great public characteristics, eack command- 
ing honourable notice. 

It is indeed, no way important, as to -what part 
of the county we first begin with, it being your 
design to visit all parts ; and you, will remember 
that I stand engaged to give accounts only of 
particular places taking care, however, that 
those which I describe, shall present to you 
the best sketches I 1 can give er find; and 



64 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 



pointing out to you in these etchings * where 
you may see the pictures at full length. 



* I will not, however, refuse you a list of the towns 
which form the regular tracts from LONDON to LYNN, the 
only town of note bordering in this part of ^Norfolk, in case 
you should pass them in day -light, in the meditative way I 
should myself have used, had I not been governed, at my 
setting out, by uncontroulable circumstances. 

And this turnpike-road intelligence is ready cut and dried 
for you in at least as many books as there are miles betwixt 
London and Lynn. I shall, however, borrow from the 
Roadist deemed the most accurate ; and whose information is 
as follows ; - 



LONDON 

Mile-End 

Bow 

Stratford 

Laytonstone 

Snarebrook 

Woodford 

Woodford-Wells 

Bald-Stag 

EPPING 



Middlesex. 



Potter's-Street 
HARROW 
Sawbridgeworth 
Bishop's- S torford 



Hertfordshire. 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. O5 

I can scarce form any idea of what a sensible 
foreigner must feel on his jftrst view pf the 



Stansteatt 

Quendon 

Newport 

Littlebury 

Chesterford 



Essex. 



> Cambridgeshire. 



Suffolk. 



Bournbridge 
Devil's- Ditch 
NEWMARKET 

Red-House 
BARTON-MILLS 
Hobbs's-Cross 
Brandon 

Methwold 

Stoke-Ferry 

Wareham 

Seeching 

West-Winch 

Hardwick 

LYNN 



Some of these will come within the proposed path of my 
observation on my return; and such as do not, will deserve 
to be made in yours, because there is not one of them, 
which, in the months most favourable to excursion, will not 
offer something for the curiosity, pleasure, improvement, or 
admiration of a sensible traveller. But, as I think, meagre 
descriptions far worse than no descriptions at all, I shall 

VOL. IV. F 



^Norfolk, 



66 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

various novelties which are obvious even on the 
surface of England: To a German, Dutch, 



only select one or two prominent points of remark, to serve 
for memoranda, as you pause to examine; or should you 
pass rapidly, that you may not entirely overlook, or run by 
them. 

The noble and extensive Forest of EPPING, will have a 
charm for the Jover of nature for you, my Friend, in 
every tree, in every bush ; and the lover of art will see fair 
reason to be pleased with the many splendid villas and 
elegant cottages, interspersed about and within it. The 
word cottage, is now used a little proudly, if not affect- 
edly, to signify the very beautiful, and frequently the very 
superb, residence of cottagtrs y who carry the splendours 
of the town into even such recesses of the country, as make 
Nature hide her blushing GRACES amidst her own roses, or 
seek a modest refuge, and lie concealed in some green dell of 
her forest upon a simple sod ; as if fearful of setting her 
timid foot on the flaunting, garish carpets of her osten- 
tatious rival. EPPING FOREST, was granted by Edward 
the Confessor, to his favourite Randolph Pepper, after- 
wards called Peverell ; who, it is said, having a beautiful 
lady for his wife, William the Conqueror fell in love with 
her, and soon proved himself the lady's conqueror, for the 
hero had a son by her, and called him William Peverell. 
But heroes, you know, have not time to spare for the con- 
quest of themselves ; the public good, no doubt, they think 
a "kind of set-off against private wrong : or, do these 
mighty ones, find it easier to subdue the great globe itself, 
thari to regulate the little world in their own bosoms? 
There, amai'den of -fifteen, if she be well-born and chastely 



-GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 6? 

or French traveller, it must certainly seem an 
original land ; because it is in many respects 
altogether dissimilar from what either of them 
can have seen on their native shores, or, indeed, 
any where else. The agriculture, the gar- 
dening, the natural and artificial arrangements, 
the vegetation, and numberless productions both 
of the fancy, the spirit, and the genius, are 
peculiar. Instead of stately rows of trees, 
awful and equidistant, in the straight line, and 
a level of many an unvaried league that fatigues 
the eye and a stony ridge in the middle of the 



educated, even if she has a strong, but pure passion in her 
heart, and, perhaps, its first love, has more self-government 
and virtue than a thousand such conquerors. 

AUDLEY END, near WALDEN, will gratify your love of 
architectural antiquity, and your admiration of nature, 
whose charms are ever young, were you to give it a 
whole day's attention and homage. The villa, called 
SHORTGROVE, at about forty miles from London, occupied 
by Mr. WYNDHAM, has for its owner one of the first men of 
our island, whether he be considered as an English noble- 
man, a relative, or a friend the EARL of EGREMONT. 
And Mark-Hall, near Potter's-Street, is, or was lately, 
the seat of one of the LUSHINGTON'S a family, which, on 
account of its integrity, might be shewn to 
amongst the worthies of the Jtnd. 

F2 



63 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAN0. 

highway, with sandy, sinking slopes on each 
side, which, though canopied with aspiring 
foliage, and displaying an air of gothic grandeur, 
amusing and imposing at first, soon weary by 
their uniformity, and by the heavy hours we 
are constrained to pass in th^ sad sepulchral 
vehicles, that " drag their slow length along," 
instead of these, a traveller no sooner recovers 
the dizziness of passing the water, than all at 
once, he finds himself, in almost every part of 
the island, transported as it were, to a new 
region, where every object must have the effect 
of a magical illusion. In an almost flying car, 
he is lightly and rapidly borne on a smooth 
expanse, to the summit of a flowery, fertile 
hill, or down the soft declivities of a valley, > 
the liorse^path usually social enough to admit 
three or four, and sometimes as many carriages 
abreast ; all running, as we call it, bowlingly 
on the nail, with scarce a pebble in the way 
on a fine gravel which binds to the firmness, 
and, even in the first trading country in the 
world, almost preserves the beauty 'of a garden- 
walk^ without one dislocating rut. The foot- 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 60 

paths, he perceives, are either across cultivated 
pastures or corn-grounds,, or through clustering 
thickets,, or by woods of more ambitious extent, 
and yet not sufficiently deep and continuous to 
, be dreary. Such farms and cottages too, as the 
sons of Industry and Toil can rarely boast in 
any other land, are seen springing up to cheer 
his progress betwixt village and village, town 
and town ; and then each side of him even in 
the public highway, he is presented with either 
an entertaining, pr a rich variety, by the innu- 
merable and rapid turnings of the path, forming 
a complete contrast to the ceremonious foliage 
of the road-side scenery of the Continent. 
There, you know, the solemn firs are often 
drawn up like grenadiers at roll-call, or a more 
formidable troop of giants, standing as perpen- 
dicular, and at measured spaces as if they had 
been drilled, just in the style of our old 
English Barons, when they stalked in their 
buckram and brocade to pay their court to his, 
or her, Majesty of England. To say truth, 
like our own scenery in those days of state- 
when our gardens exhibited birds. 



70 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

beasts and fishes in evergreen gigantic avenues 
of forest oaks all m a row entrenchments of 
rampart-looking ditches and mantling moats 
and dreadful drawbridges - and embattled 
halls, and turreted abbeys all of them duly 
haunted a ghost-room and an apparition in 
each the very gates and walls bespeaking 
power, and frowning defiance. In short,, when 
Nature herself, instead of the * liberal and 
graceful freedom with which we now array her, 
was forced into stilts. 

Those were the days, my dear Baron, when 
even our English roads were, wonderful to 
tell, more impassable than the worst of yours ! 
when our communications with each other, 
whether by epistolary or personal intercourse, 
were encumbered by so many delays and dimV 
culties, that had not most of the movements 



* Nature, (says the fascinating Goldsmith) is now fol- 
lowed with greater assiduity than formerly ; the trees are 
suffered to shoot out into the utmost luxuriance ; the streams 
no longer forced from their native beds, are permitted to wind 
along the vallies; spontaneous flowers take place of the finished 
parterre ; and the enamelled meadow of the shaven green. 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 7.1 

of those times been solemn and slow, the 
feelings, in certain cases cases of separation, 
for instance, from a beloved object must have 
in every desperate effort,, hazarded the neck 
of the enamoured youth, who doubtless would 
have preferred a dislocated limb, or a broken 
bone, to a broken heart the proper death, 
nevertheless, of absent lovers. 

"More seriously, however, to speak before 
the grand public work of our turnpike roads/ a 
journey of a hundred miles, was an affair of such 
peril and protraction, that it was deemed pru- 
dent for a sober-minded man to make some very 
solemn arrangements in his family concerns 
before he set out; nor, after all, was this formi- 
dable undertaking entered upon without the 
parties about to separate taking leave of each 
other, as if they were, probably, never to meet; 
again. 

How, then, can I expect credit for our unri- 
valled improvements in the art of travelling? 
improvements which would stagger the belief 
of any of our forefathers, and make them sup-, 
pose themselves under some illusion of the 
1 



72 GLEANINGS IN ENGLANB. 

'senses,, and disbelieve their own eyes, were they 
suddenly to become spectators? 

I cannot yet close this great national object, 
which is amongst the very first to attract and to 
astonish a foreigner. The -perfection of that 
object is yet to be mentioned. I mean the in- 
vention of our Mail Coaches,,* which increase 



* Among the many aids which have been given td 
commerce and public convenience, during the present cen- 
tury, there is not one which deserves better of the nation, 
and has a more just title to a place in this work, than 
the reformation which has been made in the adminis- 
tration of the Post - Office, by Mr. Palmer. Some 
general ideas of the reform, which has since taken place, 
were first suggested to Mr. Pitt, in the Autumn of 1782 ; 
and, in the beginning of the following year, a plan was 
laid before him. After having maturely considered it, the 
Minister determined that it should undergo a trial. This 
original plan, which, though it has since been greatly 
improved, contains all the principles of the .undertaking, anej 
in its present state of perfection, is a curious and interesting 
memoir. In order to give a general outline of this extensive 
undertaking, I have made such selections from the plan 
presented by Mr. Palmer to Mr. Pitt, in 1783, as will be 
Eufficient for that purpose. 

" The post at present, (observes Mr. Palmer,) instead of 
being the swiftest, is almost the slowest conveyance in thjs 
country ; and though, from the great improvement in GUI 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 73 

the accommodation and speed of every thing 
most valuable, and most precious to the busi- 



roads, other carriers have proportionably mended their speed, 
the post is as slow as ever. It is likewise very unsafe, as 
the frequent robberies of it testify ; and, to avoid a loss of 
this nature, people generally cut bank bills, or bills at sight, 
in two, and send the parts by different posts. 

" The Postmasters General lately advertised directions to 
the public, how to divide a bill, in such a manner as to pre- 
vent its being of any use to the robber. Rewards have 
also been frequently offered for the best constructed mail 
cart, on some plan, to prevent the frequent robbery of the 
mail, but without effect. Indeed, it is at present generally 
intrusted to some idle boy, without character, mounted on a 
worn-out hack ; and who, so far from being able to defend 
himself, or escape from a robber, is much more likely to be 
in league with him." 

The post should certainly be as safe and expeditious as 
any other regular stage in the kingdom ; for, till it is so, 
whatever penalties are held out to coachmen, carrying 
parcels, the public, as their convenience directs, will send 
by the safest and most expeditious conveyance, to the very 
great loss of the revenue of the Post-Office. 

The comparison betwixt the post and the diligences, 
from Bath to London, will pretty nearly serve for the whole 
kingdom. The diligence that sets out from Bath, at four 
or five on Monday afternoon, will deliver a letter about ten 
on Tuesday morning, while the post that leaves the same 
place at ten or eleven on Monday night, does not deliver a 
letter till two or three on Wednesday afternoon, and fre- 
quently muh later. Nothing, therefore, prevents the post 



74 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. ,| 

ness and pleasure of this illustrious Island, 
almost to a winged celerity. In the days of 



from losing the conveyance of many more letters than it does 
at present, but the cheapness of the carriage,' when com- 
pared with that of the diligence. By the post a letter costs 
only four-pence ; and by the diligence, booking, carriage 
.and porterage, will make the charge amount to about two 
shillings ; nevertheless, many persons, both at Bath and 
Bristol, send by the latter ; and indeed, throughout the 
kingdom, every letter to which expedition is necessary, is 
now sent by diligences, where they are established. It is, 
therefore, advised to contract with the masters of these 
diligences to carry the mail, and a guard to protect it; and 
this, if is presumed, may be done by them not only better, 
but as cheap as the present method, which in general is three- 
pence per mile for the boy and horse. The diligences should 
go at the rate of eight or nine miles an hour ; so that, 
allowing a quarter of an hour to change the horses, and for 
each Postmaster to change the bags, the mail will be con- 
veyed from Bath to London in sixteen hours. Besides, these 
machines would have a recommendation above all others, 
both for passengers and parcels, as they would be punctual to 
time, and be protected by a guard, which must prove an 
additional motive for the masters to contract the cheaper with 
Government. 

" Diligences are now established from almost every town 
in the kingdom to London, and in many cities and capital 
towns where the cross-post communicates, as from Bath and 
Bristol to Birmingham, Liverpool, Chester, Oxford, Exeter, 
Plymouth, Portsmouth, &c, which wpuld be a great benefit 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. J5 

OUT ancestors nay, within the memory of many 
persons still living, one relative who should 



to the cross-posts ; and in many places, where they are not 
yet established, a contract for the mail might induce people 
to xlo it. 

" If the diligence was free of turnpikes, it would be a 
great saving to Government, and a very trifling tax on tojls, 
which, for a carriage and pair, from Bath to London, is about 
nine shillings, and a carriage and four, eighteen, it would 
be so much towards payment of the carriage of the mail ; 
and, taken all through the kingdom, must amount to a very 
large sum annually. 

" It is certainly a very great hardship on individuals, 
that they are liable to an heavy penalty on sending letters by 
diligences, &c. as they may go out at an hour when the post 
does not, and at a time when a letter requires dispatch ; yet 
several pounds must be paid for an express, or a servant sent 
post to do what may be done much better, for half a crown, 
by the coach. All that Government wants is to secure the 
postage of any letter, not sent with parcels of goods, or by 
private hands. The great object, therefore, must be to 
carry cheaper, safer and swifter, than any other carrier, and 
that will secure the business to the Post-Office better than, 
any penalties whatever, 

" The Postmaster of every town must know the exact 
time the mail should arrive, and either himself, or servant, 
be ready at the inn, where the horses cnange, with his packet 
of letters, to put in the general bag, and to take out those 
brought for him. He must be very inexpert indeed, if he 
cannot change his packets, as soon as the ostler does hig 
Jiprses. If he is not ready, the diligence by no means to 



76 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

have summoned another to his bed of sickness, 
might have died even a lingering death, without 



Wait. If, on inquiry, the salaries of officers are not pro- 
portioned to the trust and duty, Government .will undoubt- 
edly advance them, but no more keep a negligent servant in 
3 department of the Post-Office, than in the Excise. 

" As the hours of sending off the mails, from every office 
in the kingdom, are settled to accommodate the General 
Post-Office, by the proposed alterations they may, perhaps, 
be changed in most places : to some the alteration may prove 
convenient, to others inconvenient ; yet, at the very worst, 
the consideration, that the letter, which may be sent on the 
morrow, will arrive at the place to which it is directed, as 
soon as one now sent to-day, will far overbalance it 

** A Committee of Genflemen, Merchants, &c. in each 
town, might, perhaps, suggest a better method of regulating 
the post, for their own district, than persons always em- 
ployed in the office in London. Some intelligent out-riders, 
who travel for orders to the different parts of the kingdom, 
and have experienced inconvenience in theif correspondence, 
would be likely to furnish very useful information, which 
the office should not fail to encourage from every quarter. 
Where new roads are continually forming, and manufacturing 
villages growing into large towns,, the post of such a country 
must be liable to continual variation, and open to great im- 
provement. 

" It may be advisable to consult with the Merchants, &c. 
in London, how far it may be proper for the General Office 
to shut at even or eight in the evening. The 'Change being 
shut up at three, and the Bankers' shops at six, the business 
would be much better done than at twelve at night, or one" 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. JJ 

the friend most relied on to close his eye 5 or to, 
receive of that eye, its last love-beam : the heart, 



or two In the morning, and cheaper to Government. Ot| 
examination, perhaps, it may be so regulated, that the letters 
may be delivered so much earlier than they are at present, as 
to leave full as much time, after the receipt of the letter, to 
answer it, as there is now, though the post would go out 
earlier. The encreased expedition of the post would also 
allow for the missing a day. Indeed, an early hour, at the 
office, would occasion earlier hours for the dispatch of business 
that is to be communicated by it. 

" It is presumed that, by these, and other improvements 
which may be made, letters might be delivered in nearly half 
the time they now are, from many parts of the kingdom; and* 
as the public pay an additional tax with less reluctance, when 
it is grounded on great improvement and convenience, the 
postage might be advanced in the proportion of six-pence for 
four-pence, but double and treble letters in a smaller degree ; 
for, as the diligence can carry ajiy weight of letters, every 
encouragement should be given to send small packets by the 
post ; and, as Government would pay about three-halfpence 
a pound, for one hundred miles, the public should not be 
made to pay one shilling and four-pence by the ounce. 

t( By the act of 1 765, the postage of a single letter, which 
used to be three-pence for any distance under eighty miles, 
was altered to one penny for one stage, and two-pence for 
two stages, under the idea that, by doing it so cheap, 
Government would have the great number of letters seat by 
carriers, &c. in preference to them, not considering that 
they were sent for expedition, not for cheapness. By the 
present regulation of the prices of postage, from the General 



78 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

condemned by some stern necessity to throb 
alone, far distant from its associate^ might, 



Post-Office, a single letter is a penny for one stage, two- 
pence for two stages ; any distance beyond that, and not 
exceeding eighty miles, three-pence. From eighty miles to 
any part of England, be the distance what it may, even 
Berwick-upon-Tweed, which is three hundred miles, only 
four-pence ; so that, beyond eighty miles, there is no sort of 
proportion kept between the distance and the charge, though 
to Edinburgh the charge is six-pence. Letters, which pass 
through London, are charged the postage to London, and 
from thence to the place of its destination. 

" The American charge seems to be on a better plan than 
that in England, viz. For a single letter, above sixty miles, 
four-pence ; above one hundred, six-pence ; above two hun- 
dred, eight-pence ; not above three hundred, ten-pence, &c. 
Suppose the charges, in future, were at the following rates, 
throughout Great Britain, viz. A single letter, not exceed- 
ing twenty miles, two-pence; forty, three-pence; sixty, 
four-pence ; eighty, five-pence ; one hundred, six-pence ; and 
after that an additional halfpenny, on every twenty miles, 
to and from any part, whether the letter passes through 
London, or not. 

" The gross receipt of the Post Office annually, from the 
time it was first established in the reign of Charles II. to 
the act passed by Queen Anne for its improvement, gradually 
increased to 111,461!. and is now supposed to be about 
500,000!. 

f( From the proposed and other improvements, the revenue 
would not only be increased to a very considerable amount, 
"but the public be better accommodated. Some regulation 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 7Q 

indeed, have been broken, long before the 
balmy comfort of affection could have 



might also be adopted with respect to the privilege of 
franking. Perhaps, the best check on abuses in this par- 
ticular, would be to oblige the members of Parliament to 
write the day of the month and year on the frank, .and to 
charge the letter if not sent to the office the day it is so 
dated. 

Postage is really no tax, but a fair and reasonable price 
for so much labour, which Government, by its monopoly, is 
enabled to do cheaper than any individuals, and should do 
with greater expedition and safety, or submit to the loss of 
the public's employing other carriers in preference to 
theirs." 

This plan, which has since been adopted, in its material 
points, with so much success, was necessarily delayed by the 
changes which took place in the administration of the 
country. Though it should be mentioned, to the honour of 
Mr. Palmer, that his scheme of reformation was approved 
by all parties, and that the several Ministers, as they suc- 
ceeded each other, gave every proper encouragement to him. 
The difficulty he found in executing his plan did not proceed 
from Government, but from the Post Office ; from whence, 
indeed, he experienced a degree of opposition which it is not 
necessary to mention in the detail, and on which I shall 
only observe, that it does not appear, upon the most favour- 
able examination, to be reconcileable to any principle of 
common sense, policy, or integrity. At length, however, 
the ability, ingenuity, and indefatigable spirit of the present 
Comptroller General, under the protecting wisdom of the 
present Minister, has brought this undertaking to a very 



SO / GtEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

been supplied, even by those wjio think, 
with the Poet, that " a Friend is worth all 
hazards we can run ;" and a thousand advan- 
tages in public, with ten thousand endear- 
ments in private life, are facilitated and con- 



high degree of perfection, and has given an example of public 
oeconomics which never before existed in this or any other 
country. 

Of the present state of this most useful undertaking I have 
to observe from the best information, that Mr. Palmer has 
more than fulfilled every engagement he made with govern- 
ment. The contracts for the conveyance of the mails are 
made at 20,000!. per annum less than was originally agreed 
for; the acceleration and extension of the posts are; far 
greater than were at first promised, the mails being now 
conveyed, not only in half the time they used to be, to most 
parts of the kingdom, but in one-third, and even one-fourth 
of the time in many of the cross posts ; these' posts are all 
likewise made daily instead of three days per week to 320 
towns, and likewise the same additional convenience given 
to 20 1 towns on the general posts. 

Thus has Mr. Palmer, to the very great and acknowledged 
advantage of the whole kingdom, given accelerated expedi- 
tion, perfect security, an assured punctuality, and an increased 
revenue to the administration of the British General Post 
Office. Mr. Palmer has, at this time, 1 understand, a 
petition in Parliament for their fulfilment of their agreement, 
as to two and an half per centage. I enter into no Tost 
Office disputes, but I think, and the country thinks with me, 
the projector of so extensive a national good cannot easily be 
over-re warded. 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 81 

nec'ted with this interesting and noble invention. 
It is, in fine, the crown both of our commerce 
and correspondence and were temples now 
built, or monuments erected to those who, by 
public works have expanded public good, while 
tfce benefactors are yet living, I know not of 
ariy man more deserving a mark of his coun- 
try's gratitude than he who conceived, and 
carried into practice, this great national idea. 
It deserves the emulation and adoption of every 
other clime, that has but a relish of business^ 
or of social love ; and next to the project of 
any post at all, and the invention of writing, to 
confide thereto the secrets of our hearts, and 
our most important worldly concerns, the esta- 
blishment of a MAIL COACH IN ENGLAND will 
be~ honourably recorded. 

The present has been the first opportunity of 
shewing my gratitude to it as an individual ; 
and I do it heartily ; for though it cannot 
literally, 

" Waft a sigh from Indus to the Pole," 

nor convey my affectionate wishes from the 
VOL. iv. G 



SI GLEANIXGS IN 

British to the German empire,- the salt sea, and 
many a frowning league of dry land dividing 
us it will convey this Letter to the confine of 
the ocean, where, I hope, the most favourable, 
wind " will kiss the sails to make the vessel," 
which is to take charge of ity " nimble ;" an$ 
it enables me to inform you of a luxury, that 
will not only smooth, but speed your way to 
the hand of, yours affectionately. 

P. S. I ought not to have forgotten what I 
farther owe to the Mail-Coach on the score of 

bearing me to this flower-encircled villa, which 
is situated in the midst of a garden, and where I 
found every face and heart so happy to receive 
.me, that the wishes which filled my heart over- 
flowed in the following spontaneous address, 
which, if it breathe not of Poetry, is replete, 
with truth, and on that sacred ground, you will 
allow me to preserve it in our correspondence. 

PARENT of Fancy ! Muse adored ! the art 
Of fair imagining is thine ; and thine 
The power, more awful and sublime, of Her 
Whose inspiration^ is from Heav'n itself, 
CelestialTRUTH ! O woo her then to raise, 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 83 

Ev'n to the source of ev'ry good, my strain, 
That thence may stream on each revolving day 
That gave to Earth, one of Heaven's fairest works, 
Fairest and best a benediction pure, 
Ev'n as the soul for which I form the pray'r! 
And may the blessing reach to all who love 
What is most lovely : grant it GOD of GODS ! 



C2 



84 CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 



LETTER F. 

NORTH RUNCTON, 

July 19, 17Q8. 

-/YLTHOUGH I have repeatedly renounced 
all methodical movements, and set out with a 
design of furnishing you with a general idea of 
my country, derived from a description of par- 
ticular places and people, I am desirous that no 
material objects should be left unnoticed, which, 
in a particular manner, distinguishes the Island, 
in its present state, and may assist you in form- 
ing a right notion of us. 

Hence, I should, methinks, have incorporated 
with my last Letter, respecting the ROADS and 
CARRIAGES, some information as to the good 
things to which those Roads will lead you. 

And here again, my dear Baron, I am con- 
strained, by the truth which you venerate, to 
assign the Palm to Old England by an un- 
qualified preference of the INNS of this Country 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 8$ 

to those either of Germany, France, or any 
other nation in the world ; and to do away all 
appearance of partiality herein, I will boldly 
appeal for attestation of this judgment to every 
inhabitant, in that world, who has had oppor- 
tunity of proving its unbiassed equity, by living 
amongst us ; and of making fair comparisons. 
Ere you have gone over as much of our ground 
as from London to this place, I will confidently 
make the appeal to you, my Friend. The reality 
of a comfort, of which other countries have 
scarcely an idea, will be visible to you at the first 
English Inn, where you may stop, and accom- 
pany you to the end of your journey. The 
warmth, the neatness, the attention, the atten- 
dance ; the propreti of the apartments, . the 
cleanliness of the food, the polish of the fur- 
niture, of the plate, and of the glasses, these 
will always strike you, and not unfrequently, the 
elegance of the rooms, and splendour of die ac- 
commodation. Every foreigner, who has either 
taste or feeling, must candidly give the prece- 
dency to us in all these articles. Indeed, the 
comparisons which a travelled visitant, from 



86 -GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

your own shores must make, would be more 
victorious for us than any eulogy of our own. 
Englishmen are so much in the habit of seeing 
these things in all parts of this country, with 
very few exceptions indeed, that they are 
scarcely seen at all ; or noticed only by the in- 
dignant manner in which we ; mark the excep- 
tions a dirty, disgusting Inn, fitted up for 
les gens comme il faut> being as rare to be met 
on English ground as it is common on the 
Continent. There, indeed, we occasionally 
see a dismantled castle, or dilapidated chateau, 
degraded to a chearless road-side public-house, 
where men, horses, hogs and other cattle, 
house, stable, stall and stye, on the same 
floor ; and, to say truth, the beast has often the 
best birth. Huge rooms, beds shabbily sump- 
tuous, a kind of majesty in tatters, long chill 
passages, damp floors, high dingy cielings, and 
unwieldy figures in tapestry, where the spider, 
as in mockery, drawing kings and warriors into 
his web, sits brooding his venom in the ruined 
face of a Princess, or makes his den on the bo- 
som of a Queen in decay ! But where shall we 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 87 

find the triumphant enjoyments which the Writer, 
with whose acute remark, rich diction, and 
unrivalled morality, you will in due time, I 
trust, be better acquainted, where, I say, shall 
we find those home-felt public luxuries which 
our Samuel Johnson so often considered as 
one of the grand domestic perfections of his 
country, an English Inn or Tayern ? the 
presidential chair of which, upon account of 
the unrestrained ease and freedom it bestows, 
he gaily called, " the throne of human felicity " 
" As soon," said he, " as I enter the door of 
a tavern I experience an oblivion of care, and a 
freedom from solicitude ; when I am seated, I 
find the master courteous, and the servants ob- 
sequious to my call ; anxious to know, and 
ready to supply my wants. Wine then exhila- 
rates my spirits, and prompts me to free con- 
versation, and an interchange of discourse with 
those whom I most love. There is no private 
house in which people can enjoy themselves so 
well as a capital tavern." But he .must be 
understood, my dear Baron, to mean an ENG- 
LISH tavern, because the circumstances that 
constitute that enjoyment, can, in their per* 



88 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 



fection, be found no where else ; and not only 
in our capital taverns, but in almost every well- 
regulated inn upon the road, in every possible 
direction of the country, and he might have 
added, there only am I regaled by decency, 
as a hand-maid, waiting on appetite there only 
are the eyes, taste, and touch at once ban- 
quetted ! And this is true, not only of our 
capital inns, but of other houses of accommo- 
dation on a more circumscribed scale. Most 
of our villages, and almost every stage, have to 
boast their full share of the like attracting pro- 
perties, and it is very seldom, indeed, that our 
Golden Fleece," Fair Lamb," White 
Lion," " Black Bull," or even " Blue Boar," 
hold out a sign that, when we accept their 
invitation, we shall find ourselves disappointed. 
And all this awaits you at a moment's warning. 
Your carriage no sooner stops than ' it is sur- 
rounded by alert attendants, who measure you, 
even as they hold the obsequious arm to assist 
your descent, and almost by an intuitive glance, 
know, by the step and voice of a traveller, 
be the disguise of dress what it may for we 
have many men of property who affect to be 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 8Q 

slovens what are his pretensions, with as rmich 
accuracy as if he had settled them at the Herald's 
Office, or St. James's. From the instant you 
are ascertained) the motion of your eye is arbi- 
trary, your temper is vested with supreme 
authority, and your very nod has the fiat of 
Jove's. The signs of wealth, no doubt, will, in 
all countries, make certain distinctions in the 
courtesy of people who live by it, and it is very 
difficult for those signs to be concealed, either 
by affected humility on the one hand, or by 
assumed poverty on the other. PROPERTY in 
every country where it is an object of import- 
ance, and where is it not such ? discovers itself 
in despite of every counterfeiting, and one of 
our adroit English waiters, who, as I before 
observed, takes the dimensions of your quality, 
while, with a kind of unobserved observation, 
he is conducting you from your chaise into a 
room, could no more mistake a man of property 
for a needy person, because he might travel in 
a rusty wig, sloucht hat, or thread-bare coat, 
than he could conceive an adventurer to be a 
man of property, from seeing him rush from 



gO GLEANINGS IN- ENGLAND. 

the carriage in tawdry habiliments. Plenty and 
indigence, from a certain habitual consciousness, 
.which they can neither .of them put on or off 
with their cloaths, betray themselves in a very 
short time, and literally, in the case we are now 
stating, he who runs may read them. Not that 
you are to infer from hence that the landlords of 
our inns and taverns, or the people in their train, 
are attentive only to rank and riches though 
these will, in all societies, be allowed their 
privileges, even were they not insisted on a 
ready hand, a smiling countenance, a brisk step, 
and a chearful room are offered to all degrees of 
passengers, with as few surly exceptions, as in a 
rule so broad and general, can be imagined 
and every foreigner would feel in a single half 
hour, let him have come from whatever part of 
the world he might, that he was in England, 
and that he could be only in an English tavern. 
Doctor Johnson, indeed, gave some reasons; 
besides those above quoted, for HIS preference 
of a tavern life, not so immediately in support of 
my arguments in our favour ; and yet related 
with so much glee and sincerity, when his mind 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. Ql 

and fancy were in tune, that I will here transcribe 
them into a NOTE * for your amusement, either 
at the moment you have read this passage, or 
any other that may better suit you. 

And now, my friend, having promised you 
the best horses, the best carriages, and the best 
roads, we will see what you have to expect from 
some of the places to which they will convey 
you^ and in confirmation of what we asserted 
in the letter that opened our correspondence 



* " Let there be ever so great plenty of good things, 
ever so much grandeur, ever so much elegance, ever so much 
desire," says our Doctor, " that every one should be easy 
in a private house, in the nature of things it cannot be : 
there must always be some clegree of care and anxiety. The 
master of, the house is aizxious to entertain his guests; the 
guests are anxious to be agreeable to him : and no man 1 , but a 
very impudent dog indeed, can as freely command what is in 
another man's house, as if it were his own. Whereas, at a 
tavern, there is a general freedom from anxiety. You are 
sure you are welcome ; and the more n-oise you make, the 
more trouble you give, the more good things you call for, 
the welcomer you are. No servants will attend you with 
the alacrity which waiters do, who are incited by the pro- 
spect of an immediate reward in proportion as they please. 
No, Sir; there is nothing which has yet been contrived by 
man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a goo4 
tavern or inn." 



C)2 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

that " were we only to follow the falling 
stick, it could not point to barren ground/* 
we may take our first views of the country, 
as it happens to lie before us, from the place 
of address. 

NORTH RUNCTON, situated exactly an hundred 
miles from London, and three short ones from 
Lynn, in Norfolk, is one of the numberless 
unassuming villages, which ensures attention, 
though it aspires not to admiration. The 
scenery around is soft, agreeable, and engag- 
ing: the peasantry wholesome, and healthy, 
the yeomanry diligent, ingenious, and at their 
ease, and the neighbourhood respectable ; 
yet the village itself, though too " low for 
a high praise, is too high for a low praise,'* 
can boast only two families which are term- 
ed independent gentry, that of Mr. Lane, who 
has another garden -encompassed villa, and 
the friends of whom I am at present a guest. 
But you will here find, if you allow yourself 
time, a very interesting specimen of those un- 
ambitious beauties of nature with, which this 
country abounds, and which not only give an 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 03 

idea of content, but tend to produce the reality 
of it in the beholder. The more obvious 
prospects maintain the character I have already 
given them ; and if you will follow my usual 
custom of quitting, occasionally, the open to 
see what the covert yields, you will be recom- 
pensed by those retiring graces, which lie em- 
bowered amidst leaves and blossoms in our 
sequestered scenes : long green lanes, various 
foliage over-arching them; the hedges, at in- 
tervals, interspersed with trees of irregular 
height and bulk, deriving charms even from 
their confusion; some bending with age over 
the path of the traveller, as if for his pity and 
support, some standing firm, as if in the pride 
and independence of youth, their vernal heads 
erect in air, and seeming to brave the lightning 
which, I observe, has left a shattered oak, in the 
same hedge-row, without a green leaf, to shew 
that it had ever vegetated. These will all repay 
you for the humility of an unostentatious walk, 
embalmed too by the wild fragrance of roses 
and woodbines, .blooming about your walk, 
through a diversity of mazes, now so alcoved 



Q4 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND* 

by nature as scarce to admit the penetrating 
sun-beams of this radiant season, and now 
opening upon you the unbroken day, and the 
sublime orb from whence it springs. 

Then the enclosures, the rustic stiles leading 
into them, the foot-paths, direct or in wind-, 
ings, conducting to innumerable little farms and 
cots, unmarked by the high-road Traveller who 
can never know either the prosperity or popu- 
lation of his country, one half of which is hid 
like the violets, amidst the lowliest glens, and 
humblest scenery. 

This pleasant village leads by one of the 
enviable public roads, 1 have recently described, 
to LYNN ; before, however, we proceed to 
which, it may be clearing our way, as we go, 
to present you with some general character of 
this county, the largest proportion of which, 
is said to lie West and North-West of NOR- 
WICH : but the part at which we begin our 
correspondence is called West-Norfolk, and 
on account of several advantages, in due time 
to be explained, is by far the most auspicious to 
a traveller at this season of the year. 
3 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND Q3 

Were you to consult all the books which 
have been written on NORFOLK, a year's 
assiduous reading would scarcely bring you to 
the end of them ; for, besides Doomsday- 
book, the mighty fountain of our English 
annals, you would have to wade through the 
copious channels of DUGDALE, SPEED, SPEL- 
MAN, PARAGE, CAMDEN, KENT, BLOOMFIELD^ 
PARKINS, SWINDEN, MACKRIL, MARTINA 
BROWNE, and many other streams of intelli- 
gence; in doing which, it would be well if 
Patience, Memory, and Truth herself, are not 
drowned. The. histories of Norfolk, says a 
sensible Tourist, and of its principal towns, 
are comprised in so many folios, quartos, and 
books of all sizes, as, collectively, are too 
voluminous and expensive, and several of 
them too scarce to be easily procured. These, 
amongst other reasons, induced the Observer 
to compress into as small a compass as possible, 
an epitome of what seemed most worthy of par- 
ticular notice, and he has accordingly performed 
the task with good effect in a work, which he 
calls, the Norfolk Tour;" and by occasional 



g GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

reference to which, I shall rescue you from a 
useless and overwhelming labour. Indeed, a 
judicious selection from the time-consuming 
mass, as to the brick and mortar, baptismal and 
burial, post-road, parochial history of each 
county, is become a desideratum to the traveller, 
and will answer to him a much better purpose 
than the dreary and torpid detail of fiefs, 
beruites, .&c. &c. and though you will always 
hear less from me of, who was in fee, or demi- 
fee, whether the antipathies, or the affections 
of the descendants, struck them out of the 
family, or kept the regular line in it, than you 
will what is now actually to be seen or heard ; 
what is the face of the country, and the feature, 
moral and persona], of the existing inhabitants 
a more interesting sort of information, except 
to curiosity-hunters and antiquarian compilers, 
than you could derive from the most minute in- 
telligence, to be extracted from those unwieldy 
reporters, who, however, have their use, when a 
man is at home in his library, but are the worst 
heavy luggage abroad that a traveller can take 
with him, either in his head or his portmanteau; 
1 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. Q7 

Indeed, without sending them forward in a 
baggage waggon, in which the details .of this 
single county would make no slight figure, 
there, would be no taking them at all ;* and then 
they would be found such dead weight, that 
even antiquarians and curiosity-hunters would 
wish they had left them with the moths on their 
shelves ; though, 1 say, my dear Baron, you 
will find me more zealous to give you the 
living figure, than the dead letter, in continua- 
tion of my former plan, I will endeavour to 
collect, even from these Giants of our Press, as 
well as from their " brief abstracts," and convey 
to your mind, clear and . accurate accounts, of 
what, so far as I have the honour to be your 
Guide, it may be pleasant or useful for you to 
know. 'f 5 '' ' 

It seems generally admitted, that Camden's 
character of Norfolk, though written more than 
two centuries ago, will, *in most of the features 
that distinguish it, be found a true likeness at 
this moment : that the soil is more various than 
that of any other county of England, compre- 
hending all the sorts that are to be found, io, 

VOL. iv. H 



QS GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

the island ; arable, pasture, meadow, wood- 
lands, light sandy groimds > deep clays, heaths 
and fens. The agriculture of the country has 
received such astonishing improvements, since 
the time of the above writer, that the scene 
immediately before the eye, will exhibit every 
thing to you in the most rich, abundant and. 
favourable light; and although the resemblance 
of objects are i still to be recognized, yet it is- as 
the similitude of. a youth, with much of his 
wildness, much . of his rudeness, and most of 
his unformed awkwardness about him, and the 
same being, strengthened - by time, invigorated 
by maturity, meliorated* by discipline, and fer- 
tilized, by a wise, wholesome, and improving 
education, as necessary to the fruits of the 
earth, in these fallen ages at least, as to the 
creatures who move upon its surface. 

Norfolk, is one of, our maritime counties-,, 
nearly of an oval form, and so surrounded by 
water, ; that except at a small . causeway, near 
Lopham, it is an island. The British Ocean 
forms its boundary on the North and East for 
near an -hundred miles ; on the South it is 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. QQ 

divided from Suffolk by the river Waveney and 
the Little" Ouse. According to the Roman 
divisions, it was part of the Iceni ; in the Saxon 
arrangement it made a^ certain proportion of the 
East Angles ; Ptolemy called it Simeni; and the 
modern name Norfolk,, or 'Nor them- folk, is, by 
way of distinction from Suffolk, or the South* 
em-folk. In point of magnitude it has been 
estimated at about one thirty-fifth part of 
England; pays, according to Spelmari, twenty- 
two parts of the land-tax raised in Great- 
Britain ; to the poor iii his time, (of the rising 
scale of modern taxation, we shall 'have occasion 
to speak hereafter;) ^83,730 4 10; arid con- 
tains an area of 1,148,000 acres, or 1,7Q3|^ 
square English miles, each being 64O acres. 
It is divided into 33 hundreds, in which are 
one city, four burghs, 24 market towns, and 
about 70O villages ; in these are- reckoned, 
47,780 houses. 

To many continental travellers, I am 
aware, that this will seem as a contracted span 
of earth in comparison of 'the scale on which 
they are able to measure ground against us. I 

H 2 



100 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

am fully sensible of the small spot my fellow- 
islanders occupy, and that we are limited in 
point even of cultivated possessions, to less 
terra Jirmathan Germany could very well afford 
to throw from some of her petty principalities,, 
yea, and feel herself relieved : a few of her 
long-extended tracts of unyielding sand and 
heath-grounds, would tell, in point of num- 
bers, against the whole of our landed property. 
It is not, therefore, most certainly, from 
diameter or circumference, we can presume to 
approach you, rny dear friend, and still less the 
inhabitants of some other countries. We must 
submit length and breadth to most of the 
nations both in and out of Europe ; but, in 
the us.e we have made of our little, * in what- 



-**' ALBION! o'er thee profusely Nature showers 
Her gifts ; with livelier verdure decks thy soil 
With ev'ry mingled charm of hill and dale, 
Mountain or mead, hoar cliff, and forest wide; 
And thine the Ruins where rapt Genius broods 
In pensive haunts romantic ; rifled towers 
That beetling o'er the rock, rear the grey crest 
Embattled, and within the secret glade 

3 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 101 

ever most essentially tends to the accommo- 
dation, the energies, the comforts, and the 
genius of man, we may assert with the sacred 
Writer, that " we have a goodly heritage, and 
that the lines are fallen to us in pleasant places P f 
On this text, I remember, long since, to have 
met with the most interesting arguments to 
prove, we ought not simply to be content with 
the general dispensations of Providence, but be 
impressed with particular gratitude for being 
born in the country which we inhabit ; and to 
pour forth the tribute to Him, who is the great 
benefactor of all the nations of the earth, and 
the instructor of all the beings who cultivate its 
productions. My memory retains nothing but 
what extremely interests my heart; yet my heart 
itself, must forget all it has appreciated, ere it 



Cemceal'd the abbey's ivyvmantled pile. 

********* 

Each silvan scene, mild, or of grace severe, 
That charms with loveliest interchange, is thine 
O FAVOUR'D- ISLE !" 

SOTHEBY'S beautiful Poem, through parts of North an<i 
Soutfi 



102. GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND* 

loses one trace of die emotions called forth by 
the sentiments,, in the discourse alluded to, 
which pointed out the motives of my gratitude 
for being a native and inhabitant of Great- 
Britain. I was infinitely touched by the passage 
which reminded me, that if it were permitted 
me to rise so high, as to see from some sublime 
elevation, all the kingdoms of the earth roll 
under my eye, I should feel a disposition to 
prefer, upon the whole, this in which I dwell. 
I should bless the great Appointer, that my 
country is not one of those burning lands, 
" where the heaven over head is brass, and the 
earth under the feet iron ;" and where the sun 
rises more like a strong man to destroy, than a 
bridegroom coming out of his chamber to make 
men rejoice. Nor yet.>ne of those frozen 
parts of the universe, where the lord of it, 
reserves his treasures of snow arid hail: nor 
amongst those dreadful climes, where whirl* 
winds and earthquakes, thunder, lightning, and 
the desolating hurricane, destroy all the hopes 
of man; where the bolt of heaven breaketh the 
cedar, and shakes the wilderness to its foun- 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 103 

dation; nor where contagion has fixed her 
polluted throne, and the pestilence hath its com- 
mission to depopulate whole nations at a stroke : 
but that it has pleased Providence to allow me 
the breath of life, in a country, whose advan- 
tages are upon the whole the first in the world ; 
he has bestowed on us, an island guarded by 
the ocean, and open to all the treasures cf every 
shore : a land productive of corn, herbs, 
timber, and fruits; watered with the most 
genial dews of heaven; feeding innumerable 
springs and wells, and navigable rivers ; a land 
that maintains on its surface, cattle, fowls, 
flocks, dairies, hives, and a thousand of classes 
labouring for its blessed inhabitants ; and from 
whose very bowels you may dig innumerable 
articles for daily use : natural advantages these, 
without speaking of acquired wonders from the 
improved state of husbandry, trade, building, 
learning, and the other benefits and ornaments 
of the country. 

Nor are these all. The author, in a style of 
the like chaste simplicity, the truest constituent 
of the sublime, passed, I remember, to other 

^ 

2 



1O4 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

causes why we should render the fervid thanks 
of our hearts for being born to the goodly 
heritage of Britain : particularly for the civil 
liberty we enjoy. 

And not without good reason. The life of the 
meanest of us, my friend,, is so protected by the 
. law, that in the heat of the day after the 
labourer has mowed half an acre of grass, he 
may securely lie down and refresh himself by 
sleep at the end of the swathes ; or, shoi^ld any 
daring hand invade his life, either his fellow 7 
servant, the master who hired him, or the 
King of his country, his blood would be re- 
quired of the murtherer by the hand of the 
magistrate. O ye despots ! wheresoever ye have 
fixed your hateful empire, attend and blush at 
ytfur usurpations ; those usurpations which first 
made the poor worms ye have trod upon 
raise themselves to your crest, and seize your 
throats ! Here, no man can keep back the 
hire of the labourers who have reaped his fields. 
The poorest subject is absolute lord of his little 
all : the ploughman may leave his coat at the 
land's end, and the gleaner trust her bread and 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 1O5 

her bottle, and her scanty sheaf on the green 
balk : THE LAW OP ENGLAND is AS A FIRE 
ROUND ABOUT THEM.* The freedom, too,, of 
the lowliest man is established. He lives where 
he pleases, toils where he chooses ; and the 
charities, when he can toil no longer, are at 
hand to relieve his sickness, and to smooth 
the pillow of his age. In many countries, 
we both of us know but too well, the breath, 
strength, health, and labour of the poor are 
appropriated : the very life of the vassal is at 
the will of his lorcj : there, the subordinate 
classes of society have no property : they are 



* These assertions are admitted and confirmed by an 
illustrative passage of Mr. MORITZ, from whose Tour I 
quoted for you in the addenda of my last. 

When we here see," observes the generous stranger, 
" how, in this happy country, the lowest and meanest mem- 
ber of society, thus unequivocally testifies the interest which 
he takes in every thing of a public nature ; when we see, 
that a carter, a common tar, or a scavenger, is still a man ; 
nay, an Englishman : and as such, has his rights and pri- 
vileges defined and known, as exactly and as v/ell as his 
King, or as his King's minister ; it is impossible not to feel 
very differently affected from what we are, when staring at 
our soldiers in their exercises at BERLIN." 



106 'GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

'themselves property.,, the slaves of the higher 
orders,, who 'buy and sell them as part of the 
live stock on their estates. How many coun- 
tries are there, I have sojourned in some, 
which resemble a large jail, a house of bond- 
age, in which the chains of some are of iron, 
and those of others are of gold ; but all is 
slavery ! and as bur delightful Yorick says, 
" it is a bitter portion." 

Is it not then with heart-felt truth that 
Englishmen exclaim cc O happy people ! O 
blessed country !" It is true that the Demon 
of war has drawn his sword, and is still 
thirsting for blood, but your garners afford, in 
the midst of an almost famished universe, all 
manner of store, your sheep bring forth tens of 
thousands on your yet unmolested plains ; you 
may be objects of envy, but not of plunder. 
Your wives, your children, your property, your 
lives, your religion, are yet your own ! 

For all these beatitudes, O friend of my 
heart ! and for numberless more, though I 
trust I ' have publicly borne testimony that I 
have travelled off all little nationalities, that I 



MEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 107 

have had an eye to see, and a heart to feel, all 
the goodness, and the good of other lands, and 
that I am by no means blind, or insensible to 
the frailties and imperfections of my own, as I 
shall, in the course of our correspondence, have 
occasion td evince; yet, for all the blessings 
above enumerated, I x praise the GOD of empires, 
him who, to use the inspired language of the 
prophet,, instructed the ploughman to open and 
break the clods of our generous earth, make 
smooth her surface, cast her wheat, her rye and 
barley in the places appointed for them, and 
own, that he has, indeed, given to me, and to 
my countrymen, a goodly heritage ! 

You are hastening to share it with me ; my 
heart of hearts shall welcome you : and your 
heart of hearts shall then bear record of the 
truths I am telling you. 



108 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 



LETTER VI. 



NORTH RUNCTON, 

August 5, 17Q8. 

JN OX-WITHSTANDING my enthusiastic 
love of nature's beauty, whether blooming over 
the earth in flowers, expanding in billows on the 
sea, dimpling in streams, or breathing along 
the valleys, you are not now to be told that all 
these are subordinate, in my scale of things 
estimable, to the beauty of the human mind : 
neither the graces, nor the glorious vegetation, 
nor the skies, by which they are canopied ; nor 
even the blessed orb, in whose rays they all 
rejoice, can furnish so rich a harvest as this, 
where the soil is naturally. good, and has been 
well cultivated. 

Let this sentiment prepare you for a gleaning 
of mental excellence, the object of which has 
presented itself since my last, 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

Previously to taking a wider range, and while 
I am yet stationary at the smiling abode of my 
friends, excursing in morning rides or evening 
walks, permit me to shew you objects, which 
not only rapid travellers, but many who have 
their dwellings amongst them, pass over un- 
noticed ; either because they are too near their 
eyes, or because, having seen them so often, 
they now cease to see them at all. It will form 
part of my pleasure also, and I cannot but 
think it will make an ingredient in yours, to 
draw for you, occasionally, as our pausing-places 
may allow, som'e of the intellectual features of 
my country ; without which you can catch no 
real likeness of it : wind, being the vital part of 
every just portrait. That of England, from 
my pencil, can be but a sketch. I have pro- 
mised, however, to make it a true one. The 
light delicacy, indeed, which finishes while it 
seems but to sketch, is the point to be endea- 
voured ; and this I will attempt. At present I 
wish to make you partaker of as Arcadian an 
evening as ever could have graced the 'Utopian 
dominions, had they really been on the map 
of the world. 



HO GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

You already know, from my f ormer' report, ' 
that this villa is in the midst of a garden ; yer 
the happiness which last night sat as a guest 
within, derived little of its charm from that/- 
circumstance, and little -from the unnumbered- 
sweets that embalmed, the. air, and carried 
fragrance into 'every, apartment that was opened 
to receive it. No, my friend, it was of a kind, 
that had the dwelling been situated on a barren 
heath, and offered no better accommodation 
than is to be found in the hut of an unpoetical 
modern shepherd, it would have elevated your 
mind, your feelings, above the influence of 
external circumstance; nay, it would have exalted 
to a felicitous height every mind not meaner 
than the hut, not more steril than the heath- 
ground. This interesting enjoyment was de- 
rived from the innocent effusions, and unfoldings 
of nature, in one of her fairest and best works : 
the mind of a lovely girl just old enough to be 
yet called truly. a work of nature, pure as the 
fipwrets that sprang around her cottage. 

The party was composed of six persons, most 
of whom are known to you. The worthy, 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

unassuming Fanny R*****, whom neither in- 
dulgence or affection could ever spoil, nor 
rigour or ingratitude alienate. My worthy 
friend and his wife, who offer to their guests, 
besides the good things which hospitality pro- 
vides, ." the feast of reason and the flow of soul;" 
a French emigrant general officer, * whose pri- 
vate virtues, even had they not been endeared 
by misfortune, are sufficiently numerous to 
counterbalance the injury done to us by his 
professional bravery, when duty raised his sword 
against that nation which is now his shield: 
to him must be added your correspondent, and 
the blooming hope of my host and hostess, 
the interesting Sophia. 

4 As the last mentioned of these furnished the 
intellectual part of the evening's entertainment, 
you will receive with pleasure a sketch of her 
person. And yet, I know you .are such a 
champion for general symmetry in the works of 
nature, that were I to delineate only the mind 



* Le Baron de PUJOL, 



213 eLEANINGS IN ENGLAND,. 

of Sophia you would give the correspondent 
form and features; averring, that to be in 
natural harmony, a well-organized mind must be 
placed in a well-organized body. And, perhaps, 
youxvould not be very far from the truth; for, 
although it occasionally happens that the 
mental gem is enclosed in a sorry casket, and 
so vice versa, there is much more frequently a 
due proportion and symmetry of the interior 
and exterior of the human reconomy ; and that, 
independent on all modes of education and 
habits of life. But admitting the full influence 
of these, when I tell you that the custom of 
Sophia from her earliest age, in her little rambles 
through the garden or fields, have been to stray 
from her servants, or mother, in order to cull 
such flowers, weeds, shells or pebbles, as were 
remarkable either in the tint, colouring or 
texture, for a certain delicacy; when I observe 
to you, that she would select these from 
innumerable others more shewy, more generally 
attracting, and which would have been the 
choice of most children : if, for instance, roses 
were to form part of her collection, they would 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 113 

be chiefly in bud, or slightly blown : or, if any 
more strongly tinted shrubs, or gaudier flowers, 
were admitted, it would be by way of contrast, 
and they would be thrown by her little fingers 
in the back- ground. Were I, in addition to 
these facts, to assure you that flaunting or 
vulgar flowers would never be seen in" her 
hand, and that in all her arrangement's she dis- 
covered the like delicacy of taste : that, more- 
over, her selection of playmates was but a more 
animated continuation of this delicacy, prefer- 
ing the gentle to the rude, the pensive to the 
romping : that her infant affections shewed the 
same bias among her feathered and animal 
favourites, which were ever the more endeared 
to her in the proportion as they stpod in need of 
her protection ; that their wants, their sickness, 
or their little sorrows, would have more of her 
notice than their prosperity, health or sports : 
a bird in full song, and a lamb in full frolic,, 
would be neglected were but an invalid wren 
beside them, to claim her care should I join 
to this the information that every sound of 
her voice, from its most whispered note to " the 
VOL. iv. I 



114 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

top of its compass" is music, in all its varia- 
tions, would you not exclaim, Sophias person 
MUST be as delicate as her soul? In truth, a first 
sight of this lovely girl would determine the 
most timid disciple of Lavater to associate 
congenial affections, and a mind in keeping 
with the almost aerial lightness of her form, 
her sylphid movements, her heaven-blue eyes, 
contour of face, redundance of light-brown 
hair playing round it, lirJS of softened ruby, 
and alternations of the lily and the rose in her 
complexion. 

I, who have had opportunities of watching 
the opening and progression of her mind and 
person, almost from her birth, could propose 
a question to philosophers, as to the long- 
disputed thesis of innate ideas. Sophia began 
to be a nurse to the sick, a friend to the 
sorrowful, a separater of the delicate from the 
garish beauties of nature, before she had either 
time or opportunity to imitate either of her 
parents, who might, otherwise, have been suc- 
cessfully taken for. her models. 
- Forgive. me, then, ye who have adopted your 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 115 

great master's opinion, that the human mind is 
but as a sheet of white paper to be afterwards 
filled up in the nursery, the school, and the 
world : forgive me, if I trace, or attempt to 
trace, certain manifestations of soul in the early 
dawn of human life to pure nature, unassisted 
by any thing below the sun. We may, perhaps, 
.meet with illustrations as we proceed. 

Sophia is now hastening to her^ ninth year, 
was herself but a visitor, being at the cot only 
fojr.the holidays, which were, indeed, so near 
their end, that the promise of a supernumerary 
week was to be considered as a loan, borrowed 
from study and added to her half-year's jubilee. 
For though Sophia has no objection to study, 
she is too much a child of nature to reconcile 
easily to stated forms and periods of learning, 
and too much genius for lessons not of her 
own choosing. 

When your correspondent entered, the sub- 
jects were, literally, shifting " from grave to 
gay, from lively to severe." In all these 
Sophia took a ready part, mixing a woman's 
wisdom with a child's simplicity, without which 

i 2 



11(3 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

the wisdom of youth is either premature^ and 
therefore must have an early check, and pro- 
duce, at last, but a dwarfs understanding at 
the age of an adult ; or, it degenerates into 
cunning, and is fruitful only in mischief. 

It had been a day of event to our Sophia, 
Early in the morning, several of her nurselings- 
among the poultry had called upon her com- 
passion : the last brood of chickens required 
unusual care. With sadness in her looks she 
brought one of them into the parlour, and she 
told us it had died in the night, for which she 
reproached the hen whom she had seen peck at 
-it while it stood languishing before the mother, 
as she past clucking along with the rest of her 
brood. " What an unnatural parent !" ex- 
claimed Sophia, running to caress her own. 
Another, she said, looked as if.it were dying, 
and on being told that many creatures, parti- 
cularly a hen, which is not saying much for the 
animal creation by the bye, would sometimes, 
kill an invalid of its own species, nay, of its 
, own family, to save the trouble of nursing, the 
indignant colour rose to her cheek, and she 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND* .117 

hurried off the dead to succour the dying. 
The latter was, indeed, in as unpromising a 
state as a valetudinarian could well be found ; a 
downcast head, drooping wing, ruffled plumage, 
or rather down, closed eyes, and feeble twitter. 
Its protectress breathed upon it, warmed it in 
her hand, dipt its feverish bill in wine, and 
cradled it in her bosom. In recompence of 
these good offices it seemed to revive, opened 
its eyes, and picked up some of the crumbs 
which Sophia had spread for it On the table. 
Thus recovered, she returned it to te mother 
with a charge to treat it more kindly ; yet the 
first news of the morning was, that her protege 
was n0 more. She left the breakfast- table 
without answering the intelligence any other 
way than by running for the deceased, which 
she brought in the hollow of a hand shaped by 
beauty, and, after desiring the company to bid 
it good bye for ever, took it into her own 
garden a little slip of ground in the angle of 
the shrubbery, where she lias not only a 
nursery but a place of burial exhibiting, as she 
moved slowly along, a figure that'wwld exactly 



118 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

have suited the angel of pity, scarcely seeming to 
want the wings, which, for the sake of meeting 
the popular idea of angelic forms, a painter 
might, perhaps, have fixed on her beautiful 
shoulders. 

But what is most to be admired in these her 
mental developements, 'is, that the objects 
which call them forth, occupy, for the time, 
her whole soul ; and no miser was ever more 
earnest to add a guinea to his store, or to '^it- 
deposited in the strong box, and shining on the 
brooding heap, than is this little girl to add one 
comfort to the Being under her care. She 
cannot, on sad occasions, be averted from her 
pensioner tillishe has done her utmost to serve 
it. Its welfare! seems to annihilate every pro- 
mise or profession that enriched the preceding 



moment : this proves it to be genuine ; proves it 
to be the pure and unelaborated operation of 
the heart. In discoursing with her dolls and I 
have heard her give them very sage advice, 
and most serious lectures and reproofs on the 
propriety of their conduct^ 'and reform of their 
rnanners- in the burial pf a sparrow or a chicken> 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 1 1Q 

it would be impossible, until the ceremonies are 
over, to call off her mind to anything else, 
however pleasurable; although on joyful occa- 
sions, such as the high health of any creature 
she has domesticated, or any gay vision of 
fancy she has created and she creates thousands 
in an hour she will seize a new object, though 
but an insect on the carpet, and convert that 
into a very substantial amusement; and this 
also is an ingredient in the genuine of her 
character. A sage's steady wisdom, without a 
child's volition and simplicity is a bad omen ; 
but the degree of her gravity is proportioned to 
the object : for example, the loss of her feathered 
favourites had been preceded by the .supposed 
death of a four-footed 'friend, whom she ha 
.known and loved the greatest part of .her life, 
and his fate was thought to be aggravated by- 
several circumstances. -The morning after this 
supposed disaster, our child of impulse followed 
her affectionate feelings, by appearing in suit- 
able ; habiliments : sable ribbons graced her 
arms, and a black collar encircled her neck. 
Not contented with this,, she invested the little 



120 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

Juliet also, Romeo's only surviving daughter, 
with correspondent mourning, in which the 
pathetic black crape was as liberally made use 
of. It was the unaided suggestion of a heart 
alive to every sentiment and action of tenderness, 
and the friend of every living thing, at an age 
when too many children are the little tyrants 
cf all within their reach. 

[J. said supposed death, because it turned out 
that the Destinies were pleased to extend the 
thread of poor Romeo's life, even to the date at 
which I am writing. The honest fellow is 
now sleeping at my feet under my writing table, 
and was amongst the old associates .who awaited 
me here, and who, in his reception of me, did 
not seem to forget that I was a friend to dogs in 
general, and to him in particular. His escape 
from the Power " that putteth all things under 
his feet," would seem too marvellous for any 
persons not gifted with a faith enlarged enough 
for Bruce and Robinson Crusoe. Perhaps 
certain critics, who, measuring the powers of 
all other beings by the partial scale of their 
own observations, determine the point at which 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 121 

the progressions of instinct, by the help of 
education, must stop rand thereupon make a 
liberal use of "the censorial words,, absurd^ un- 
natural, impossible ; perhaps, I say, dear friend, 
some of these, in their all-wise decisions, may 
add the name of the GLEANER to those 
right-wonderful travellers ; for there are, I 
find, who dispute the ingenuity and accom- 
plishments of his poor Canary, the sagacity 
of his travelling Steed, though by all the 
powers of nature he swears, he has acted but 
the part of a faithful historian to both these 
honest and ingenious creatures, and if his heart 
Ixas now and then thrown its most, glowing 
effusions over their actions and characters^ and 
sometimes called on Fancy for a decoration ; 
that, although it embellishes, does not injure 
or conceal the sacred lineaments of Truth: 
what, but a cold and Cynic caviller will quarrel 
with a description that gives to an innocent and 
interesting object its full power of pleasing ? 

Sweet Bijou ! honest Surefoot I farewell ! 
your genius and your adventures have drawn 
the sigh of sympathy from many a generous 



122 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

bosom, and your true, story shall be long dear 
to -reason, to feeling, and the heart,, not from 
merit in your historian, but from the trans- 
actions he records. ,?cp 

Notwithstanding this, and notwithstanding 
also, that the extraordinary and fictions-seem- 
ing events in the preservation of Romeo/ might 
be attested * by as faith-worthy beings as ever 
bore witness to the truth, the particulars of this 
matter shall stand over to our next meeting. 

Let us return to the sweet Sophiay to detail 
the infinity of glee with which she sported over 
some observations on domestic happiness,' as 
she saw it subsist between the amiable pair to 
whom she belonged, to mark the naivete with 
which she felicitated the husband on the trea- 
sure of such a wife, while the bliss-o'erflowing 
eyes of the former confirmed the tmth of her 




* I had the pleasure of hearing them attested since these 
Letters were sent to you, by General H* ****** who has 
frequently seen as extraordinary feats atchieved -by Birds, a$ 
have been related of my poor Canary. Indeed, you know 
they might be attested by almost any man in Germany, 

3 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

remarks, to describe the affection with which 
she divided herself among the whole party, 
now, wishing passionately; that each individual 
might be blest with each othef s society through 
life, and undivided by death ; now, hoping 
that after living an hundred years, in unbroken 
amity, all present might occupy one grave, 
and, then, looking on this as impossible, while 
she placed the happy couple and herself in one, 
and the j Lady, the General, 1 and the Gleaner, 
in arfothery would be a vain attempt, the image 
of death assuming its usual terrors, she returned 
to the cheating idea of protracted life, and pro- 
tested;, with all the fervour, though without the 
bath of uncle Toby, and without knowing there 
had been an uncle Toby,, or an oath, that 
none of the group e should die ; : but that GOD 
ALMIGHTY would keep them upon earth a long, 
long time to f love each other/ and afterwards 
permit them all to 1 rrieet in Heaven, and there 
live together for ever. 

It were in vain, you are aware, to expect the 
effect of this description on your mind, should 
at all equal that which >was produced by the 



124 CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

object described, because a great share of the 
impression and interest grew out of looks and 
actions far beyond the reach of written .lan- 
guage, and to give the mere words without 
these, where each of those actions and looks 
was grace., beauty and innocence, unsullied by 
the world, and free from the pertness, or hoy- 
den freedoms of a spoiled child, is to offer you 
but the shadow ; yet they may' give you an 
interesting idea of the beautiful substance-. 

I do not, however, place it before you as. a 
partial selection, to serve as a portrait of a little 
favourite, nor as a specimen of the grace and 
talents of English children, in preference to any 
I have observed in other countries ; but I bring 
it forward in some sort to strengthen the ground 
on which I shall presume to dissent from those 
who maintain the impossibility of innate ideas 
of any kind. In the contemplation of this lovely 
girl, and a few others, I have been strangely 
puzzled to know from whence, if not from some 
such ideas, can have proceeded the eager pur- 
suit and choice of whatever is most delicate of 
graceful ; and the neglect or rejection of they; 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

Contraries, at an age when the discrimination of 
colours, or the determinations of fashion upon 
them, cannot possibly have been the result of 
tuition, or that earnest curiosity, or that imi- 
tative power, which, at a certain stage of youth, 
are such wonderous helps to the opening mind. 
From the age of three to five or six curiosity 
must be the chief engine of knowledge ; but 
it cannot teach in matters of taste the superior 
delicacy and interest of a flower, tinted faintly, 
or with too much strength, for our idea or 
feeling of the delicate, or regulate a child in the 
choice of a shrub or shell, which in its leaf or 
blossom, formation or mark, bears the 'like 
characteristic. 

The selector is of too tender an age to com- 
prehend the distinction, or the definition of 
delicacy, even were the mother or governess to 
explain it : now as similar reasoning will go to a 
number of other early propensions of human 
beings, in their choice either of the elegant and 
delicate, or the tawdry and glaring, it will, at 
least, support me in a query submitted to learn- 
ing and candour, whether we must not 



126 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND* 

sarily refer these preferences to some inborn 
delicacy, or coarseness of the infant mind ; whe- 
ther we must not consider them as dictates of 
pure nature, seeing they are antecedent to all 
instruction and imitation ? Be this as it may* 
you will agree with me, .in believing, that from 
whatever source these ; propensions are derived, 
they "grow with pur growth,, and strengthen 
with our strength.'*^, *ris*-j -\ 

In one of the cases, indeed, a change may 
take place : the youth, who in childhood, ap- 
peared attached to the gaudy and garish, may 
sometime be taught, a better taste ;, but it will 
scarce ever happen that an infant admiration of 
the delicate and gentle will lose any of its relish 
for those graces of Nature, much less be ex- 
changed for their reverse : on the contrary, they 
almost always form into principles and habits, 
which as life proceeds, will influence a mature 
person in whatever are the proper objects of 
them : I think, indeed, it would be difficult to 
adduce a single instance, even as an exception, 
where either the man or woman, who, in child- 
hood, discovered a bias towards the abovemen- 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 127 

tioned graces of Nature, was forced, either by 
bad culture or worse associations, into a total 
dereliction of what must have once afforded 
them so many delightful sensations, the very 
memory of which will be -endeared. 

If, therefore, instead of being repressed, these 
dawning indications of, permit me to call it, 
a natural good taste are fostered and encouraged, 
of what progress are they not capable ? and 
what avenues of bliss in thought and action do 
they not open to their possessor ? 

Did you ever hear of a being who had the 
impulses of the child that has led to this train 
f reflection, turning out an inelegant, I had 
almost said an immoral, woman ? A very great 
perversion of what I have ventured, but not 
presumptuously, to consider as innate ideas, of 
the GENTLE and DELICATE, must have expelled 
them from their native residence in the juvenile 
bosom, before this degeneracy can happen. 
Bad tuition may do much, evil communications 
yet more, towards dislodging the angel guests 
from their proper mansion ; but, as both edu- 
cation and example, instead of unlearning, will 



123 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

sanction and confirm what pure nature ha3 
taught, I shall consider it a more arduous task 
to change the flower-garden, in which stands 
the abode of Sophia, into a morass, and the 
salutary air that breathes fragrance around it, 
into " a pestilential congregation of vapours," 
than to see any no^jous weed of folly, or poison- 
ous plant of vice, if you will allow me to 
proceed with the florid image I first took hold 
of, encumber the fair soil, and rob of its natural 
fruit the mind now opening upon the maternal 
eye, and upon her own innocent heart, a Para- 
dise of sweets ! 

Just as I had written the last passage, the 
blooming subject of it tripped up stairs to- my 
chamber, in the way to her own, to bid me, 
after all the little adventures of the day and 
evening, good night. The animation of genial 
discourse had kept her beautiful eyes unclosed, 
and unfatigued, many hours beyond that of her 
usually seeking and finding repose : for in the 
bloom of. youth, health, spirits, and innocence, 
what should invade her slumbers ? But as it 
had been a day of enterprize, so had it been 
2 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND* 

an evening of indulgence, and under the charm 
of that youth, those spirits and that innocency, 
the Hours seemed to have thought their own 
wings too heavy, and to have borrowed the 
.lighter pinions of the moments* Sophia found 
me at my writing-table, and having in the 
morning presented her with a little book, partly 
extracted from the Letters^ which, at your 
wish, I have cqntinued in this correspondence, 
she desired to know if I were making any more 
Gleanings ? then, without waiting any reply, 
she repeated her caresses and adieus, and as she 
tripped to the door to join her maid, said 
" Well, GOD bless you, I wish you would 
glean me ! and what an odd little thing you 
would make of me." I stepped to her cham- 
ber door to inform her I had done so, and I 
had not a doubt the friend to whom I was 
writing would thank me for it. 

Returning to my table, I felt strongly inclined 
to close what I had. said concerning her with 
some wishes of peculiar kindness. But I knew 
not what to wish. 

Oh-! thou, unspotted, by the world, the 

VOL. iv. K 



13O GLEANINGS JN ENGLAND. 

genuine thought, the natural heart, the generous 
impulse, the fancy, that, though it has the 
rapidity of light, never imagined guile ; the 
pure word, and the alabaster deed ; these, dear 
innocent, are already thine what then, is there 
r to wish ? what to pray for thee ? what, but 
the continuance of these treasures, these beati- 
tudes ? Yes, their continuation will be a foretaste 
of Heaven, and of " the best loved angels 
there." Fountain of purity, continue them ! 
and now, without apology, I bid you, my dear 
friend, farewell. 

P. S. Since writing the above, the holiday 
Jubilee is ended ; Sophia has returned to her 
school. However well the seminary may be 
conducted, it is, like every -other, a long pas- 
sage into the temple of general society. I 
repeat, therefore, with yet greater energy and 
fervour the prayer that closed my letter. But, 
I mentioned the presentation of a book to my 
little friend, in some measure connected with 
a former correspondence : suffer me to add 
the lines which accompanied it; they in a 
manner incorporate with the subject. 



GLEANINGS XN'Etf&LAKl). 13X 

To SOPHIA, with " PITY'S GIFT." 

Presented by Command. 

PO ET S can hear, or fancy that they hear, 
Seraphic symphonies distinct and clear ; 
Hence Pity's voice, as here I bent my way, 
Her " Gift" perusing, said or seemed to say, 
" Mortal, that little book, immediate bear 

To C 's cot I have a nurs'ry there 

Lay it on Sophy's breast, 'tis Pity's shrine ; 
The off'ring yours the inspiration mine; 
My hand-maid she ; elected at her birth 
To prove my representative on earth." 

The Goddess said : her orders I obey, 
And on her hand-maid's breast the off ring lay. 



132 CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND* 



LETTER VII. 



LYNN, August, 1708' 
xxs, upon all occasions, I feel a pleasure 
in praising, and a sincere reluctance to with-r 
hold praise, it is some mortification that I 
cannot agree with the Tourist who has called 
this a beautiful town, though I am ready to 
allow the application of his other epithets, 
namely, that it is rich and populous ; nor will 
I deny, that its situation, near the fall of the 
Ouse into the sea, is highly favourable to the 
extention of its trade, which is thus conducted 
into no less than eight different counties, open- 
ing, thereby, as many channels for the produce 
of our own, and other shores. 

By whatever road you enter this sea-port, 
my dear Baron, you will be impressively struck 
with its general resemblance to some of your 
own German, and many French, fortified 

2 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 133 

towns. Its neat quicksets on each side the 
road as you enter by the South gate, the gate 
itself, the deep rampart-looking elevation, the 
entrenched ditch by which it is encompassed 
on the land side, the platform of cannonry, the 
formal military-looking walks, terrace fashion, 
and the fragment of ancient wall, with the 
various old buildings, in keeping with this picture 
of a foreign fortress, will all bring home to your 
recollection. Indeed, it is almost impossible to 
offer an Englishman a juster idea of the usual 
style of a continental town, or a foreigner any 
one more resembling what he has been accus- 
tomed to see, than by referring him to a view 
of Lynn. I wish I could extend the resem- 
blance between this and many of the French or 
German * public roads, but there it falls off 
importantly on the part of the two former ; 
t;he turnpike road to Lynn in almost every 



* Even when there was not a single turnpike in the 
country, the Norfolk roads were naturally so good, that 
when our King Charles was its visitor in 1671, he said the 
county should be cut into strips to make roads for the rest* 



134 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

direction, but especially near the little village, 
I have lately drawn for you, being so beautiful, 
that I am not sure whether the most national 
traveller would not overlook the similitude of 
the town to any one in his own land, in his 
admiration of the paths that lead to it. And the 
cultivated scenery which variegates the prospect 
as he passes along, though somewhat contrast- 
ing the war-breathing spirit of bastions and 
battlements, by displaying a specimen of the 
smiling progress of modern agriculture,, gives 
that assemblage of the rich and the agreeable 
which are seldom completely associated but in 
the landscapes of England. 

As you advance towards Lynn, however, 
this scenery gives way to various circumstances 
which more assimilate to Holland; the meadows 
are on each side separated rather by the ditch, 
and the drain, than by hedge-rows ; the soil 
flattens upon the eye ; the marshy earth appears 
to sink under the feet of the herds that browze 
it, but the verdure is lovely, and the pasture 
abundant. 

YOU will very soon perceive, in this, as in 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 135 

every other part 'of England, vestiges of the 
religion which for so many ages and in. so many 
regions of the earth prevailed, and which, 
indeed, still maintains its ground, though, it 
seems at present, to be trembling ground, in 
various parts of Europe. Catholicism, how- 
ever, in this island, is now rather permitted 
than encouraged; she is confined to the con- 
tracted chapel, or even to temporary edifices 
yet more limited, where she is privileged by the 
courtesies of the country, to rear her altar, strew 
her incense, wreathe her garlands, and 1 'chaunt 
her oraison. But her magnificent pile, that 
expanded widely its commanding powers, her 
consecrated grounds, that appropriated and 
encircled half a district within its walls, and 
took whole villages in its gripe till Ceres and 
Pomona were compelled to become tributary, 
not only by surrender of their first fruits, but 
their last her " cloud-capt towers, and solemn 
temples," are to be seen amongst us no more. 
Of her former grandeur, and of her once almost 
immeasurable power, we trace no longer the 
trophies but the tombs; her disjointed monas- 



1 36 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

try, her ivy-girded ruin, her proud abbey 
converted into huts for the herdsman, or stalls 
for the ox, and her most secret place's where the 
penitent breathed her confession, embraced her 
punishment, or received her pardon amidst 
hymns that seemed to penetrate her soul, now 
all changed to the asylum of the bat, and to 
receive only the vespers of the night-bird. 

We retain, however, the names of number- 
less Saints even in our churches, and the Cross 
is frequently seen displayed at the top of our 
Protestant Temples : thus, the principal church 
in Lynn, which is said to have been built about 
the year 1100, by HERBERT DE LOZINGA, 
Bishop of Norwich,* is dedicated to St. Mar- 



* The etymology of this Prelate's name, does not come 
out much to the justice of his character. Camden says, 
that the word leasing in Saxon, signifies a lye or trick, for 
which reason, Bishop Herbert had the surname of Lozinga, 
and it seems to be admitted by all writers, that the character 
of his youth and old age contrasted each other. When 
young, say his biographers, he was loose, wild, and usurious ; 
in three yeqn t he grew so rich as to purchase the abbey of 
Winchester and the bishoprick of Thetford, for which h? 
was stigmatized by William of Malmsbury as the Vlr 
. When old, nothing of Herbert was in Herbert, 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

garet, who is the titulary Saint and Patroness of 
the Town : it is, also^ curious enough to give 
you a scrap of superstition that attaches to the 
history of this Virgin. She is reported to have 
conquered a fierce Dragon with a Cross ; ( so the 
good men of Lynn have no less than three 



laudably adopting, and, it it said, often repeating the words 
of St. Hierom, erra<vimus ju<venus t emendemus senes. To 
atone for the former, Pope Paschal II. commanded him to 
build monasteries and churches, all of which adds my intel- 
ligencer on this subject, he performed religiously, erecting 
besides St. Margaret's at Lynn and several others, the 
Cathedral of Norwich, and a. Palace for himself ! I will 
not withhold, however, the candid reflections which have 
been brought forth as a sett-oif against his former simoniacat 
practices. In criticising, says his advocate, the founder of 
so many magnificent edifices, if we admit that he really 
acquired great riches by the means of servility and flattery, 
it was much to his honour, and we hope a full expiation of 
the frailties of a courtier, that he applied them, not to the vain 
purposes of an useless and ostentatious display of human power 
and greatness, but in the infinitely more commendable pursuit 
of erecting such magnificent monuments of piety, as promise to 
be the admiration of ages yet to come:, and howsoever he 
might acquire the surname of Lo^'inga, or be called Vir 
Pecuniosus, which is nonu no stigma at all, we think that 
the private virtues and public charities of his riper years 
were such, as in more modern times would have been 
esteemed sufficient to atone for a multitude of the follies of 
youth. 



138 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

dragons' heads, each wounded with a cross., for 
the Town Arms. This is by way of compliment, 
and the effigies of the- patroness are impressed on 
the public seal. She is standing in a right victo- 
rious posture, wounding and treading this same 
dragon under/foot ; with a Latin inscription too, 
which^ no doubt, must be very pleasing to her : 
and an ancient man whom I conversed with on 
the subject, assures me that the dragon tipifies 
the devil himself! 

Saint NICOLAS, * has, likewise, some sacred 
honours assigned him in his chapel, which was 
erected in the reign of our third Edward, but I can 
glean nothing to distinguish him. from the saint- 
hood in general. St. James, indeed, whose chapel 



* It is asserted, that Norfolk has the greatest number of 
parish churches of any in the three kingdoms, and if, as is 
stared, it contains 1793! square miles, or 148,000 acres, 
and 240,000 inhabitants, it is 134 persons to eveiy mile; 
anci it being supposed that one person out of every nine or 
ten is. able to bear arms, the county and city have 24,000- 
men so, qualified. So long ago as 1574, the muster-roll 
contained 8,240 names, but at this moment, when every 
man is a patriot soldier, the defensive power of the county 
must be encreased in proportion. 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 13Q 

was demolished with others at the dissolution, 
exhibits a circumstance more honourable to 
him than if he had to boast a priory in all the 
pomp and ceremonies of monastic dignity. By 
-a liberal benefaction of the mayor, burgesses 
and inhabitants, this dismantled edifice was 
rebuilt in l6S2, to serve as a -charity far fifty 
decayed old men, women, and poor children, 
where a comfortable endowment is made for 
their work, instruction and maintenance, and 
for putting out the children to honest employ- 
ments : of late, great additions, we are told, 
have been made, and St. JAMES'S chapel is 
become the general workhouse *, of the whole, 
town. 

Should you ever happen to be here in Febru- 
ary, you would see a something that a little 
resembles one of your German Fairs in what 
they call the Lynn Mart ; but the new walk> 
or mall, which has so extremely a French air. 



v.:ViI.t ;<: 

* Of the various religious houses, or priories, which once 
flourished in this town) there remains nothing so perfect as 
a hexagon steeple of the Gray Friars near this workhouse. 



140 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND* 

is, in the blooming season, really worth your 
observation. What follows, I have tried by 
the test of the living eye, and find the descrip- 
tions accurate as well of this as some surrounding 
objects r concerning which as there is nothing 
jjew to be said, I retain what seems to me worth, 
preserving of the old. This public promenade 
is about 340 yards long, and eleven wide 
between the quick hedges. At convenient 
distances on each\side, are semi-circular recesses 
in the verdure sufficient to receive twenty people 
on each bench. Upon a gentle ascent, on the 
right, is a plantation and shrubbery, at the 
bottom of which winds a stream, and at the 
end of the shrubbery is a small plantation of 
lime trees, intermingled with Scotch firs, 
whence there is a good view of Lynn and the 
adjacent villages, where wood, water, modern 
buildings and ancient ruins, form a various and 
interesting prospect. 

About half way between the South and East 
gates, stand the remains of an ancient oratory, 
with several vaults and davities under ground,, 
over, which are some dark cells for the priests to 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 141 

take confessions, and above them a small chapel 
in the figure of a cross, arched and enriched 
with carvings ; it is dedicated to the Blessed 
Virgin, and commonly called the Lady's, or 
the Red Mount, whither Romish penitents, 
in their pilgrimage to the holy wells and monas-. 
tery qf our Lady at Walsingham, used to resort 
and perform their devotions. 

Of this Lady of WALSINGHAM, we shall 
have further to speak as we proceed. She was, 
indeed, in her way, a lady of ladies, and did 
we continue to be proud of what we once 
boasted in this stile, my good protestant Baron, 
the atchievements of this wonder-working dame 
might be pitted against even the long-famous 
Lady of LORETTO. 

Meantime, you are not to think the Lynn 
monastics- lived and died by thousands, without 
leaving behind them any trace more useful than 
the nodding fragment, and desolated wall; for 
it is recorded that of these thousands, two holy 
men -had mortal life to some social purpose ; 
the one a Franciscan Friar, saith the annalist, 
an excellent musician, mathematician and 



J43 GLEANINGS IX ENGLAND* 

astrologer, bred at Oxford, after having applied 
his studies chiefly to astronomy, by the help 
of his astrolabe, made five voyages to the North 
seas. In the first he sailed from Lynn to 
Iceland with company, whom he left on the 
sea-coast, while he travelled up into the island 
in search of discoveries. He presented his 
charts of the northern seas, at his return, to 
Edward IIL in the year 136o, and they were 
afterwards made use of in the reign of Henry 
IV. Chaucer had a great esteem for him > stiling 
him, Frere Nicholas Linn, a Reverend Clerk. 
He is said to have wrote a book of Discove- 
ries. The other, made Indexes to Thirty-three 
Writers ! 

But what are a pair of Monks ? This town, 
we are told, has been honoured with the visits 
and favours of fifteen royal personages ! Let us 
see whether any of these have bequeathed " the 
good men of Lynn," any better legacy than 
the Reverend Clerk, who wrote the book of 
Discoveries, or the enduring Carmelite, who 
made Indexes to thirty-three Writers. 

Yes ! one of them presented the corporation 
1 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 143 

with an elegant double gilt, embossed and 
enamelled cup and cover, weighing seventy- 
three ounces, and holding a full pint ; which is 
well preserved, and upon all public occasions 
and entertainments used with some uncommon 
ceremonies; at drinking the health of the King 
or Queen ; and whoever goes to visit the mayor/ 
drinks sack out of this cup. He also, it is 
said, then gave them/row Ins own side, a sword 
with a silver mounting, to be carried before 
the mayor; there's for you! -but as the 
charter, dated September 14, in the sixth year 
of this King's reign, calls him prepositus, or 
provost, a title not clearly defined, it has been 
denied that King John granted the town a 
mayor, but that it had one in the last year of his 
reign, is evident from his letters patent, dated 
June 7, 1216, directed: 

Screw your expectations then to their proper 
bent, and proceed., Flourish kettle-drum and 
trumpet ! for a circumstance that calls upon the 
most chaste fidelity and minute historical cir- 
cumspection, is at hand. My friend, you arc 
no doubt prepared. , Read on. 



144 GLEANINGS IN 



KING JOHN GAVE THIS SWORD /TO THE MAYOfl 
AND GOOD MEN OF LYNN. 

Bishop Gibson in his addition to Camden, 
observes, that this sword, which by the inscripr- 
tion, is said to have been given by KING JOHN, 

was really the gift of KING HENRY the VIIL 
after the town came into his possession ; and he 
changed their burgesses into aldermen, and 
granted them several privileges The charter 
granted by King John, does not mention the 
sword, but that granted by Henry expressly 
says, " he granted them a sword to he carried 
lefore their mayor? A loose paper of Sir 
Henry Spelman's, dated September 15, 1630, 
says, one THOMAS KENET, town-clerk of 
LYNN, assured him to compose an inscription, 
to be engraved upon the plain hilt of the town- 
sword, as above stated : " KING JOHN gave 
this sword to the town ;" hereupon he caused 
the person who gave this information, and was 
then his scholar, to write these words : 

Ensis hie Donum fuit Regis Johannis. 
A suo ipsius la fere datum. 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 145 

IN ENGLISH. 

King John took this sword from his oivnfide^ 

and gave it to this town ; 

xvhich the sword-bearer carried to Mr. Cooke, 
a Goldsmith, who engraved it upon one side of 
the hilt. If this story be true, the inscription 
of which the town so much boasts, is of no 
authority. On the other side of the hilt, is 
vivat Rex Henerlcus octavus, Anno Regent sm 20. 
The gentlemen of the corporation insist, that 
the sword now borne before the mayor, was 
given by King John, and has been used for 
that purpose from the time of Henry III ; and 
that , when some kings have honoured the town 
with their presence, the mayors themselves have 
carried this sword before them ! " and it is 
remarkable," says Mr. Mackerell, " that in 
a window on the north side of the choir, near 
the altar of St. Nicholas's chapel, the town 
arms and the sword are depicted in glass, and 
most probably were fixed there soon after erect- 
ing the chapel, and glazing the windows, which 
is supposed to have been in the reign of 
Edward III, between the years 1326 and 
VOL. iv. L 



146 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND* 

1376, or about 150 years after King John is 
said to have given the sword to the town. 
Upon the whole, it is pretty clear, that the 
Sword was given by King John, but whether 
from his own side, and to be carried before a 
provost or a mayor, must still remain doubtful ; 
if there be any error in the inscription upon 
the sword, it is in saying that King John took 
it from his own side, thereby intimating, that 
it was the sword he commonly wore, which it 
is not easy to believe, it not only being much 
too large for an offensive weapon, but also, like 
all other swords, used for purposes of state, by 
corporate bodies/' 

The corporation consists of a mayqr, re- 
corder, twelve aldermen, and eighteen common- 
Council men, a town clerk, chamberlain, &c. 
the town has sent two burgesses to parliament 
ever since the 26th of Edward I, (12Q8,) and 
the election is in the whole body of the freemen 
and free-burgesses, in number about 330, and 
the mayor is the returning officer. 

I have been the more particular in detailing 
to you this very great affair as I find it stated in 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 147 

all the traditions of it, because, you see, it is 
extremely important whether the sword was 
taken from the royal side, by himself, or offered 
by the medium of a more plebeian hand ! 
Nor would I, by any means, have you attach 
any credit to the insinuation of those who 
dispute whether the regal personage above- 
mentioned gave either the Cup or Sword ; for 
as King John is not one of our English rno- 
narchs who can afford posterity to lose even a 
trifling instance of his having done any thing 
worthy of remembrance, though he was compel- 
led, you know, by his barons, to do that which 
remains the pride of our constitution, confirm 
MA&NA CHARTA, one would not make his 
little less, by depriving him of even the gilding 
of a liberal action, though but in the gift of a 
gay cup and a fine sword. The more particu- 
larly, as the donation seems to connect with 
the public benefit of granting the town of 
Lynn^ now called Lynn Regis,* to be a free 



* Before the reformation it was called Lyfm-Episcopi, 
the property of the Bishop of Norwich. It retained its 



148 GLEANINGS IN ENGLANU. 

borough. This was done on the petition of 
John Grey, the Bishop of Norwich, (1204,) by 



name of Bishop's Lynn till the time of Henry VIII, who, 
exchanging the monastery of St. Bennet in the Holme, and 
other lands for the revenues of the Bishoprick, this town 
came into hi* wide-receiving, and no less wide-wasting- 
hands, and in. consequence was elevated or degraded, which- 
ever you please, to Lynn Regis. Should you wish to have 
it taken higher up into the tree of etymology, Camden and 
Spelman can help you to clamber; though you will, from 
the topmost branch of the former look down upon nothing 
but a cheerless pool, and chilling lake, which the old 
British word Lhyn expresses, and from which it derives its 
name : but Spelman stoutly denies this, affirming that the 
name is LEN, in Saxon, a farm or tenure in fee. Take 
which you like best, my friend : I cannot think there is a. 
pin to choose between them ; and though I would not reject 
an atom of information, that could either inform the head, 
or interest the heart, or even refuse to gratify curiosity with 
a single word, or the antiquity-hunter with a rusty nail, on 
which an event or circumstance worth preserving had hung 
upon it but for an instant, I must confess that the musty' 
minutiae which journalists rake up of things which have 
neither " pith or moment," but which, nevertheless, 
they retail by the rood, are, amongst the disgusting 
historical nausea which sicken me as I read. However, 
provided we can get at some of the kernel, let who will 
hunt after the husk. These remarks by no means apply to 
those tourists who have endeavoured to present the heart of 
the nut, and throw away its shell. I have already shewn 
that Norfolk has some of those. 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 145 

virtue of which the burgesses were to choose 
themselves a praetor or provost ; and although 
the good Bishop tacked to this a condition., that 
the said provost should be subject to the mitre, 
taking an oath to that end yearly, and be called 
the Bishop's Man, it was, no doubt, for one of 
those weighty reasons which have led the 
spiritual guardians of all countries, and at all 
times, to take on themselves the trouble of 
having a controul over temporals, purely to the 
intent of teaching good management. This 
part of Norfolk, however, was not always pro- 
pitious to the princely visitant, for he is said 
to have lost not only his baggage but his 
treasure in passing the marshes of Lynn in 1216. 
The marsh lands here spoken of form a penin- 
sula surrounded by navigable rivers, and an 
arm of the sea consisting of about 30,QOO 
acres, feeding as many sheep. 

Several of the historians of this country 
mention a custom established at Lynn, so long 
ago as 1588, called the Feast of Reconciliation, 
holden the first Monday of every month, when 
mayor^ aldermen, and the preacher3 > met 



150 .GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

to hear, decide, and settle, in an 'amicable 
manner, all controversies between man and 
man, in order to prevent law-suits. No doubt, 
a very commendable expedient, but as this 
convention no longer subsists, I presume the 
litigious spirit that is said, in ancient days, to 
vex the good fellowship of the county, has 

been quieted: but the wise ancient man I 

/ 

before mentioned, in the case of the Saint,, the 
Devil, and the Dragon, said " there happened, 
as he had heard his grandam report, so many 
quarrelling bouts at the Feast of Amity, spring- 
ing from difference of opinion, that they soon 
wanted another Reconciliation assembly to settle 
themselves ; so the lawyers took it .in hand, 
Sir," continued he, " and managed the disputes 
of the town their own way, and though we 
have a power of Feasts here every year, there 
has not been one Reconciliation Feast since ; 
and somehow, though we have more lawyer- 
gentry now-a-days ten to one, than i' my young 
time, more than a limb of them to a street, and 
e'en almost one to a quarrel, I don't find there 
is move of the good thing called peace, amongst 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, . 151 

us than there us'd to be, though there is twenty 
times the law, which is, to be sure, another 
good thing, you know." 

My ancient man smiled, and seems so curi- 
ously to have explained, that I shall leave the 
subject, to say something of the TRADE of this 
thriving town, a very prominent feature, you 
will allow, in the portrait of all the sea-ports 
of this commercial isle. Lynn deals more 
largely in coals and wine than any other town 
in England, except London, Bristol, and 
Newcastle. In return for these articles of 
merchandize imported, it receives back for 
exportation the corn produced in the several 
counties which it supplies. 

The rest of the LYNN lions are the statue 
of our third William in the quadrangle market- 
place, with a cross and sixteen-pillared dome 
and gallery round it; the theatre^, and the 
assembly rooms : the first. is under the direction 
of a very good conductor,* good performer, and 
good MAN, who attends even to the morals as 






* Mr, BRUNTON. 



152 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND^ 

well as the abilities of his company, which is, 
therefore, as respectable as attracting ; and the 
last are ample and commodious* The Norfolk 
tourist has criticised its plan and construction, 
and certainly not fastidiously, but with justice ; 
yet, as we have not room for the enumeration 
of defects for which there is none but the ' 
radical remedy, and these are not, my friend, 
the times for sustaining the cost of pulling 
down in order to rebuild a luxury, while every 
necessary article qf life is almost doubled, and 
several trebled, in price, by absorbing but inevi- 
table taxation, we wjll pass over the objections, 
and after a short pause pursue our journey. 

In close of this letter, accept two com^ 
mercial calculations; *the one respecting a 
particular branch of the agriculture^ the other 
ef its exportation. 

In the county of Norfolk are 660 parishes, 
and upon the average 260 acres of turnips 
grown in each, making 171,600 acres, the mere 
lioelng of which at 6^. per acre amounts to 5.1,480/. 
per ann. consequently more than one-seventh 
of the county are in turnips, as. the total quantity 



LEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 



153 



of acres in the county, I have already told yoii, 
are l.,14S,000. 

It has been said, that the four Norfolk ports 
export as much corn as all the rest of England. 
The following extract,, taken from the custom- 
house books, at Lyiin, is to be considered as 
the yearly average which has been exported to 
foreign markets and coastwise, for the years 
1791, 1792, and 1793, which were far from 
being greatly productive. It will serve to shew 
you the astonishing energies of the country, 
when scope is given for unembarrassed exertion. 

Quarters. 

Wheat 30016 

Wheat Flour . . 3138 
Barley ..... . . 112944 

Malt 10703 

P-ye . 12298 

Pease 385,5 

Beans ..... . . 4708 

Vetches 73 

Rape Seed 2424 



Per Quarter. 


. 

Amount. 


.s.~ d. 


. s. d. 


240 


66035 4 o 


2 l6 O 


8786 8 o 


140 


1 8553 2 l6 


2 


21406 o o 


Pife 5 


15372 10 o 


i S o 


5297 




140 


5649 12 


1 10 


109 10 o 


t 16 o 


4361 8 o 




262650 8 o 



154 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 



LETTER Fill 



August, 1798. 

JLx has been well observed, that the minds 
of the English,, like their climate, are chequer- 
ed with an extraordinary variety ; which seems, 
indeed, to have been infused into the whole 
system qf nature, and which is most agreeable 
where the scene is often changing. In most 
other countries, my friend, there is more of 
uniformity, both of clime and of character. In 
those, allowing for now and then a solitary 
Mannerist, or, if you will grant me the word 
Whimmist, there are not more distinctions, of 
characters than of classes. The two degrees 
of high and low, with a .sort of undefined inter- 
mediate body, form the whole nation, from 
the most stately order of the premier Noblesse) 
to the petite Baron,, the distance of whose veins 
from the rich and ichorous blood which 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 155 

fbrmer derives from the unfathomable ocean of 
ancestry, is regarded but as a common puddle, 
dribbling through the system, impoverishing 
the very spirit, and unfitting him to mix a 
rivulet so sullied and scanty, with the crimson 
torrent that ennobles every artery of the ..fast 
ordevifo c is.r. 

Nor do the subordinate arrangements upon 
the Continent^ rand more especially,, you know, 
in Germany, the class of merchants, shop- 
people, and le plus las, differ, essentially, from 
each other. A traveller, for instance, in a jour- 
ney of a hundred miles, upon your land, will 
not only meet with duplicates and triplicates, 
but these again four times quadrupled, as like 
to each other, as tree to tree ; yea, as leaf to 
leaf, even of the same kind of leaves. It is 
either the august Duke, the superb Marquis, 
the stately Margrave, the lofty Landgrave, the 
courtly Count, or the legitimate Baron : it is 
either these of the first class, their imitators of 
the second, or their imitators of the third. 
And so in the descending series ; but 'all, 
in their line, very much, alike, and on your 



156 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

approach to them as little distinguishable in the 
interior of character, as soldiers, at a distance, 
in their ranks and uniform. 

But a social Traveller cannot go an hundred 
yards on ENGLISH ground without meeting 
something in one person, if he meets any body, 
that separates him from another, either in 
the manner or the rnatter of his Character ; and 
it is fifty to one but the next person he encoun- 
ters will shew himself off as differently, as if he 
were of a different country ; even should the 
discourse with the first man be continued with 
the second, 

A Dutch passage-boat, for instance, and an 
English stage-coach, will bring this into apt 
illustration. In the former, you will find a pipe 
in every mouth, and a long pause, broken only 
by the necessity of changing the barge, or by 
some solemn observation, for the most part, as 
ponderous as the vehicle in which you are 
drawn, and stagnant as the canal whereon you 
soporifically move. If the great subject, as they 
call it, (Trade) forces their thick and melan^ 
choly spirits through the fumes that envelop 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

them I speak chiefly of commercial people, 
for I have shewn, and you will admit, faith- 
fully, there are very merry and light Dutch- 
men yea, and Dutch women too they seem 
to labour through their clouds, and you hear 
but one sound upon the one theme. Gelt, gelt, 
gelt Money, money, money That is my demand, 
what is your off erf Half an hour after the 
question, the breath is drawn in, to negative by 
a nod, or sent off with a puff into a fuliginous 
affirmative : yes, or no, often beginning and 
ending the compact. And one trade is the 
echo of another trade, as similar to each other 
as their pipes. 

An English stage-coach, on the contrary, is 
usually filled with as many unimitating beings^ 
as there are places to receive them. There is 
something peculiar and appropriate in every 
passenger, whether male or female ; and they 
are not only strongly marked from each other in 
the casual journey that associates them for the 
moment, but very frequently each is distinct 
from every other of his family. The thoughts, 
and the mode of expressing them, belong, ex- 



158 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

clusively, to him or to herself; and though the 
principles of the heart, whether bad or good, 
are the same all over the world, it is here, 
chiefly, that those principles are displayed in an 
unnumbered variety of forms, I had almost 
said of fancy dresses, even like characters at a 
masque, according to the particular humour, or 
disposition of the wearer. 

This diversity amongst us may be attributed, 
partly to the freedom of our government, which, 
without stilting some men into giants, and 
dwarfing others, preserves the due line of gra-^ 
elation, investing every individual' with a just 
sense of himself, and of his happy situation. 
Of this we have instances which could scarce be 
credited in the less liberal arrangements of many 
other nations: particularly' where prevails the 
spirit, that brings the whole human race, soul 
as well as body, to a size, cutting off the heads 
of the high, to level them with the low, and 
then x ludicrously, insisting we are one and all 
pf the same stature. 

But I conceive that the British constitution 
allows to every being that contributes to form 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 159 

it, whatever be his state or station, an oppor- 
tunity to reverence himself '; and though this, 
sometimes, encourages an over-rated estimate., 
it preserves, upon the whole, the due measure 
and weight, civil, political and religious, 

From whatever cause, however, our variega- 
tion from each other, in opinion and in action, 
arises, its effect is always pleasant, and often 
useful, to a traveller. It offers him, in every 
direction of his route, interesting, amusive, or 
singular companions by the way : and notwith- 
standing the deep national reserve, and coldness, 
imputed to my countrymen and women, and in 
which, it must be owned, they too often en- 
trench themselves, they may be all brought into 
conversation, if a traveller is resolved upon it ; 
and, however thick may be the ice at first 
setting out, the chilling influence will yield by 
degrees ; a few good-natured remarks will cheer 
the surface like morning sunshine on the frozen 
current ; the first subject that calls out a human 
affection, will begin the thaw, and an ingenuous 
exchange of those still, small, civilities that make 
up the great comforts of life, will, like the 
7 



l6O GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND 

noon-tide ray, loosen yet more the stream from 
its impediments, the warm beams of the Ima- 
gination, or the yet more ardent ones of the 
heart, will break out upon it ; and there, joining 
each other, will melt away every remaining 
coldness and obstruction, so as to produce a 
flow of good humour, or good sense, during . 
the rest of the voyage or journey, whether it be 
of a day, a month, or a year : perhaps, for the 
residue of the mortal travel of the parties. The 
ice, which, as it were, shuts up the lips, and 
closes the heart of an Englishman to strangers, 
whether of his own or other countries, being 
once thus unlocked, and the free current of 
his estimable heart disencumbered, the blood 
that animates it flows copiously towards the 
being who has in this manner subdued the 
frost, and ever after it exchanges with that 
being the permanent glow of friendship, or of 
love* 

Much, therefore, depends on our taking out 

with us, a sufficient stock of that with which 

you, I know, are always amply provided 

COURTESY without a supply of which no man 

3 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. l6l 

should attempt to go beyond the limit of his 
own garden-walls, and, scarcely indeed, to "their 
extent; for a gilded fly, an obstructing flower, 
an obtrusive sunbeam, or a few heat-drops 
falling in his path, might annoy and put him 
out of temper with heaven and earth. The 
courtesy I write of, is, in truth, as necessary 
to a traveller as his passport, or his letters of 
credit, and it will be current where all other 
recommendations and introductions fail. It 
will create urbanity in the besom where it was 
unknown before. It is solid as sterling gold, 
lighter of carriage than an English bank-bill, 
and though all Europe confesses the intrinsic 
value and utility of both these, at home and 
abroad, unnumbered instances have met my 
eye in this jarring world, where an ounce of 
courtesy would have outweighed, in the pur- 
chase of human happiness or human content, 
more than our banks or treasuries could 
buy. " A sweet word not only turneth away 
wrath," but it leads to knowledge, to wisdom, 
to conciliation, to honour, pleasure and repose. 
It conducts to the best felicities of life, and 

M V 



l62 CLEANING S IN ENGLAND. 

attains the most gracious ends by the easiest 
Cleans. 

Yet what is it but that engaging demeanour, 
proceeding from a disposition to give and to 
receive what ought to be acceptable to the 
loftiest^ mind and proudest spirit ? What is it 
but to gild our home with the smile of Peace, 
and in our excursions abroad,, to make the best 
of what we see and hear by the way? Where, 
either in a literal or social sense, the road is 
rugged, it softens its asperities by temper or 
forbearance : and where the surface is too 
smooth, not to be in overhaste to suppose there 
is no medium betwixt insult and adulation, but 
to remember, there are a thousand smooth sur- 
faces which fcave not the- slippery illusions of 
the ice, though they display the polish of the 
mirror, and often represent the true form and 
figure of the soul, in its beauty, as that mirror 
idoth the shape and fashion of the body. And 
even when they have the treachery of the ice, 
pur sliding lightly and boundingly over them, 
when we begin to feel them breaking their fai| 
promise, may ensure our safety. 
2 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

In short, my dear and faithful friend, where* 
ever we are constrained to travel a land barren 
in itself, amidst the sullen silence of the brood- 
ing tempest, or its stunning clamours, when 
its vext spirit is let loose, whether it be a storm 
of the elements over our heads, or those more 
furious and destructive hurricanes in men's 
bosoms, both of which every traveller on this 
earth must sometimes encounter, it is even 
wonderful of what consequence is this courteous 
amenity. It steals a sun-beam over the most 
gloomy parts of nature and society, and adds a 
ray to their brightest splendours. 

In my former remarks, I confessed that this 
magic power was more generally possessed 
abroad than at home. It is ever^ where, how- 
ever, of inestimable price. Like the divine 
quality of mercy, so finely described by THE 
POET of our Isle, it is " twice blessed." 

" It blesses him that gives and him that takes.'* 
I am guilty of tautology in saying how much it is 
an innate of your bosom ; and it is, I thank GOD, , 
amongst the few possessions no harsh events 
have yet had the power to estrange from mine, 
M 2 



1(34 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 



LETTER IX. 

**$'-.- > % '-'* . , % ', 

HlLLINGTON, August l6_, 1/Q8. 

from LYNN, it is my inten- 
tion to proceed towards the sea-coast till we 
reach CROMER, by ths route of HOUGHTON, 
FAKENHAM, WALSINGHAM and HOLT. I am 
writing this letter at the little thorough- fare 
Village from whence I date. It is just half way 
betwixt LYNN and the first of the above-men- 
tioned places. You are prepared for,, and you 
tell me,, you are pleased with my custom of 
winding with you occasionally through alleys, 
green and flowery nooks from the broad high- 
way, to $ee the face> and mind, and heart of the 
country jin unsuspected places,* then return to 
the more' ostensible paths. 



* " Half in a shower of clustering roses lost." 

THOMSON* 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND* 

It delights me to find by your last, from 
CUXHAVEN, that my plan satisfies you, and 
that you have received my first and second 
pacquets, and approved the specimens. Our 
compact is thus ratified by mutual consent. It 
has now the virtue and authority of a treaty 
under our signs manual. I shall therefore pro- 
ceed in the observance of it without alluding 
again to the specific articles by which it is 
formed; except, conclusively, to say, that, 
whatever may be the deviations in tte course of 
your correspondent, as to horse or foot-roads, 
he trusts there shall be none from Nature or 
from Truth ; and though he has not now to 
boast the worthy four- footed old Friend, * who 
was the travelling companion of his former 
journey, he has entered into engagements with 
another associate, 4 who, though by almost 
twenty years more young, is by nature of a very 
deliberate disposition ; seeming, indeed, rather 
to prefer a foot-pace to every other, and so far 
from objecting to residence, would remain in a 

. / 
* Gleanings through Wales, Holland and Westphalia. 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

good stall for the rest' of his mortal life, with' as 
much ease and content as any other stall'd 
animal in the creation : not but that upon occa- 
sion, b,e can trot briskly towards a fair prospect, 
and .uppn .--gfeat emergency, can even gallop 
like pthr> staJl-loving animals, also to the 
scatter^ ears that lie in the small valley of thq 
country, -QE foithe abundant sheaves which are 
heaped; up in toe more extensive granaries of the 
metippplis. In a word, " slow and sure" will 
serve a^ao.. motto for us both. I met with him 
at the -village of my friends at RUNG TON, and 
there,, beginning to associate, we took the 
fields, Jan.es and rqads together : I rehearsed 
him. intp;, some of my habits ; he particularly 
Assimilated to all those of a gentle kind ; a rapid 
traveller, who should be too much in a hurry to 
give him good council, guide or support him a 
Jittle as to the steps he ought to take, would 
soon break the poor creatures neck and his own 
too;, bi# for a patient rider, he is a horse that 
would have suited Job himself. 

The country continues to droop, to attract 
the seagull^ and the lapwing, rather than birds 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

df happier note, and every other lover of the 
humid- <^r f &j-t-4id in troth; the whole marshy 
pasturag$,rmy!>be' -said: to wear the willow, 
from the*. eastern -gate of 'LYNN, to HILLING- 
TON; But' the very heath grounds of England., 
have their appropriate fertilities, and one of these 
you will pass in your way to the place where I 
have now paus'd to write ; you cannot, during 
the Summer, ride over one of our village 
commons but you will observe it agreeably 
populated: herds of cattle, part standing satis- 
fied.in the refreshing pool, part reposing on the 
verdant sod> troops of horses and flocks of 
sheep, at feed or at play, enlivened by the 
cottage and farm, with innumerous geese and 
other aquatic fowl, exhibiting to- your eye a 
striking contrast to the long, the dreary and 
unprofitable wastes which your have so often 
traversed* in Germany^ where, perhaps, ~&<soli- 
lary goldfinch is seert waving pjb^tiie thistle^ a 
gaunt-horse sadly ruminating in. the sand, '.of" 
lean goat browzing the fern. Indeed, a few 
miles of heath or moor, are to the English 
Traveller/ sometimes >a? relief #00*7 the abun- 



1 63 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

dance and beauty of the general cultivation? 
At the same time, it must be owned, we have, 
in different parts of the island, too great an 
extent of waste land; but it is amongst the 
grand national improvements of the present 
moment to reform the face, and enrich the 
bosom of the country by enclosure; a measure, 
which, according to the report of the Com- 
mittee of Agriculture, will yield to the nation 
the enormous sum of twenty millions a year! 
and, it appears by the sajme calculation, that 
the total amount of waste lands in the Empire^ 
is _ 21,997,001 : thus proportioned. 

England (>,*240,470 
Wales . 1,528,307 
Scotland 14,228,224 



21,997,001 

Your arithmetic will serve you to make the 
deduction hereby produced in the 'agricultural 
riches of the country, from so large a portion 
of it lying unemployed. Yet when you come 
to have nearer your view the almost miracles 
which are worked by the little island, without 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 1'6Q 

one rood -of the 21,997,001 acres being brought 
into the national account, when you come to 
be an eye-witness of the spirit of commerce, 
of fashidn, of elegance, of luxury, of private 
benefaction, and of the magnificence of public 
liberality, manifested not only in the metropolis, 
but in every part of the empire, your astonish- 
ment at what hitherto we have done, could be 
exceeded only by that of perceiving what we 
continue to do ; and that too with a debt on 
the shoulders of our poor Britannia enough to 
weigh down Atlas. The very account of this 
debt is in itself almost too mighty for the grasp 
of the human mind, and while it displays the. 
grand complexity of our resources seems to turn 
the head of the coldest calculator dizzy, as he 
goes on to figure its still increasing progress. 
It was even in the midsummer of 17 96, 
. 360,100,000! a sum, which, from its mag- 
nitude, has thrown even over a 'description of the 
means and modes of paying it, an air of ridicule. 
" It would require," says an ingenious abridger 
and epitomist ; <: 47,265 pounds weight in ten 
pound Bank - -notes., having; 5 fa ^t&s ' to one ' 



I7Q GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

pound. This sum in cash, if put into carts, 
each containing lOOQlb: and have two horses to 
draw, allowing 40 feet to each cart, would load 
50OO carts, and cover 37 miles in length, with 
a remainder of Il6 carts in the 38th mile. 
Were it to be , laid down in 'guineas in a line, 
would extend above 4,300 miles in length. In 
17'94 the national debt was 360 millions ster- 
ling, and if a rnari, ty^S:,$Q' coUnt ;1$Q shillings 
pef *ninute for J&jhavues ,'a day, It would take 
feim 1797 yeap^jgSS days, , hours;, and 2 
minutes. The ^b.Ple.-jrfithis sum being 5,20O 
millions of shilling^ (Sad- the coinage standard 
being\$2 shilling^ iii, -the Troy pound, its whole 
weight will be 83 millipn 709 thousand and 96$ 
pounds, which will require 1 41,936 carts, each 
to have a ton weight, to convey it to any 
place; or supposing a man could carry 10Q 
pound weight from London to York, it would 
require 838,670 men to perform it ; ; and if all 
these men were to walk in a line at only one 
yard distance from each o.ther, they would cover 
456 miles and a half, .and 7O yards. The 
breadth of a shilling being one inch, and if. aji^ 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

these -shillings were laid in a strait line, close to 
one another's edge,, the line they would cover 
would be 83,070 miles,, which is 8,070 miles 
more than double the circumference of the 
globe. 

" Supposing the interest of this sum to be 
only three and a half per cent, per ann. it 
amounts to nine millions one hundred thousand 
pound sterling. 

" Quere. Is there in the whole universe as 
much gold in circulation as would discharge 
this debt ? If this is not sufficient, is there as 
much gold and silver in circulation as would be 
sufficient for the purpose ?" 

There . is little to fix- the attention of the 
passing traveller in this village,, as to scenery or 
houses, except the agreeable,, though obviously 
elaborated spot, occupied-, by the house and 
estate of 'Sir MARTIN FOLKES. Clumps of 
the enduring fir., and other hardy trees, generally 
indicate, at once, the ungenial temper of the 
soil, and the diligent hand of industry. But 
the particular ground on which this gentleman's 
hall is erected, is productive of something far 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

better than the proudest mansions, amidst the 
most fertile domains, have always to offer : for 
what so fair or rich in nature, dear Baron, 
as a human being placed by fortune on an 
eminence, amongst the poor and lowly, at once 
able and willing to make them happy ? 

Such a man is the owner of the house and 
lands which pi^sent themselves to your view at 
the extremity of this otherwise humble hamlet. . 

A real knowledge of personal character is 
amongst the most difficult things to be got at, 
not merely in the limited circuit of a few 
leagues, but in the longest journey of human 
life. It lies involved in so many labyrinths, 
that the actual clue is torn from the hand of 
Truth till she herself is often wounded and lost 
among the mazes ; yet, innumerable pretenders 
are ready to connect the broken thread, each pro- 
fessing that his fidelity equals his zeal. It thus 
becomes the hardest matter, even for a deliberate 
traveller to gain, in some respects, information 
that is to be depended on, either as to the real 
character of the poor or rich ; but in others he 
cannot be mistaken. .He who runs may read, 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 173 

where* the general voice of a country is in arms 
to attack, or to defend any particular member 
of it, whether that individual be high or low ; 
provided, nevertheless, that individual is resi- 
dentiary ; in which case it would be impossible 
for vice or virtue, in the relative characters of 
domestic life, of friend and neighbour, master 
and servant, to be concealed. * And, methinks, 
even an en -passant traveller may form a pretty 
-just account if he will adhere to a plan which 
.suggested itself to your correspondent many 
years ago, and which he has found correct, in 
the ratio of at least ten to one, where it has 
failed.- He is never so much in a violent hurry 
as to render his eyes and ears as useless upon 
the road as if he had put them into his port- 
manteau, or lacked them up ir> his trunk, to 
be taken out^ and worn like his gala suit, only 
at his place of visiting, or on some grand 
occasion in some grand place, where it is as 
impossible for them to be of any use as to either 
seeing or hearing the truth of character in any 
reasonable time, as to count the drops of a 
shower of rain in London, where though you 



174 6LEANINS IK ENGLAND* 

see and hear them pouring on you on all sides, 
they seem to be all alike, and to form only one 
indiscriminate puddle, where the chrystal drops 
that have just descended from the heavens blend 
in a moment with the filth and ordure of the 
kennel, and are thereby incorporated with the 
very dregs of the earth. But, in the country 
O, in the country, my dear friend, ears and eyes, 
if a traveller will but stop a little to employ 
them, and call in one of man's proudest dis- 
tinctions, the voice, are of real service, as 
to furnishing the inquirer .with unequivocal 
truth, as to human character. We may trace 
the same shower till its skiey particles free 
themselves from the embarrassments of the 
world, and gain the stream, where they assert 
and ascertain themselves. We there see them 
pure as they fall from above : they succour the 
drooping flower, supply the thirsty herb, enrich 
the land on which they fall, and forrrr its 
beauty, and its good. It is thus with the in- 
vestigation of character. In the country, all that 
morally constitutes its bane or blessing, and, na- 
turally, its beauty and deformity, lies within 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 173 

reach : and, to continue the allusion,, whether the 
drop which each individual in the parish forms, 
acts with the benign influence of the dew from 
heaven ; or, so far as his power extends, be- 
comes tyrannous as the northern blast, and 
perishes what it touches, even like the breath 
of pestilence, its salient or noxious quality is 
soon generally known. Any four persons you 
may accidentally meet in your walk of liberal 
inquiry through a village, or town, will usually 
give you that knowledge respecting any cha^ 
racter in the parish, as. well in the toun of an 
hour as could be attained in a twelvemonth by 
a person who took his report from thrice 'the 
number of chosen men, who might be con- 
sidered as the known friends or enemies of that 

^ 

character: because both these are under a bias, 
and I could not receive, unsuspiciously, the 
report of either : whereas, if in your chat with 
four residents you hear nearly the same opinion , 
whether good or bad, or even if there are three 
to one assenting, however differently each may 
express himself, you run very little hazard of 
being able^ with the deciding powers of your 



176 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

own judgment, summing up, as it were/ the 
evidence before you, of assuring yourself you 
have the true measure of the object ex- 
amined. 

It may seem fanciful, but I have no hesrta-r 
tion in recommending the adoption of this 
mode to all travellers in this dark road of 
existence. In the usual way you are frequently 
referred from one partial or prejudiced person to 
another ; these giving you a determined pane- 
gyric, and those an inveterate lampoon, till 
poor Truth loses both her temper and her 
object. 

To travellers, indeed, who never stop but to 
change horses, or stopping, ask no questions 
but for the bill of fare, and the distance betwixt 
stage and stage, improving the intermediate 
time and space in sleep, dashing with the swift- 
ness, but not with the use of a telegraph, from 
one place to another, or a mam-chance traveller, 
whose total of information, and of object, is very 
properly confined to the contents of the enor- 
mous red pocket-book, and to the saddle-bag 
wardrobe; whose walk is from shop to shop, 



CLEANING S IN ENGLAND 177 

xvith his portable shop,, in shining oil-skin, 

holding -the samples of his art, and all his 



eloquence exerted to recommend them : to 
him, indeed, or even to the traveller, who, 
from pride or modesty, is averse to ask any 
questions at all, or even to speak 'to strangers 
to all such my plan will appear worse than 
fanciful- formidable, impracticable., imperti- 
nent. No matter! for one person who has 
received my converse with rudeness, of repulsed 
my inquiry "with a yet more sullen : silence, -> 
though even these things, I know, ' make up 
the character of the English to foreigners, it has 
helped me, frequently, to discover worth; genius; 
and benevolence, where 'none of those travellers 
would ever have found it; and; in the various 
countries I have passed, has even endeare'dtti irrjr 
recollection many an humble cot, and lowly 
path-way; with many an object to share it; all 
of which, but for the^ inquisitive .disposition 
to- explore them, would, to me, at least, have.. 
" wasted their sweetness on the desert air :'' 
and,, -not seldom, has it given me opportunity 
to rt commend such of their sequestered in- 
VOL. iv, N * 



1 73 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

habitants, as wanted, and deserved relief, to 
protection more powerful than my own. 

Nor is it necessary to acquire these lest 
delights of the traveller by the .means either 
qf curiosity, or of obtrusion. They are pro- 
cured without exertion, and are, indeed, the 
natural, the inevitable consequences and re- 
wards of those passing courtesies mentioned in 
my last letter. The artisan at his work, the 
labourer at his meal, the youth at his sports, 
the veteran resting on his crutch, or seated on 
the bench of his porch to catch the vital spirit 

40 

of the noon-beam, the maid or matron at her 
wheel beside the door, or the now busy and 
now vacant landlord, whose whole stock of in- 
telligence you purchase by a small portion of 
his own eloquent ale or good spirits, aje all 
sources of information ; and, taken .26 they 
happen to present themselves to your view, will 
not only prove 'the faithful historians of the 
place, but they will, generally, look upon your 
entering with them into the urbanities of dis- 
course,- the matter and manner being not re- 
pulsive, as a kindness which entitles you to 
in return, 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

fc He that questioned! much shall gain 
much ;" said the profound Bacon, " but espe- 
cially if he apply his questions to the skill pf 
the perspns whom he asketh ; for he shall give 
them occasion to please themselves m speaking 5 
and himself shall continually gather know- 
kdge." ^' -- *' _ ^a.^ 

Thus, too, you gain not only genuine opini- 
ons, and an insight into the characters of per- 
sons absent, the estimate each man holds in 
the mind of his fellow-villager or townsman, 
but of the. reporters, who.give you a hasty, per- 
haps, but strong drawn, frequently humourous, 
almost always sincere, sketch of themselves of 
their characters, manners, habits of thinking, 
and modes of expression. 

Suffer me to illumine these remarks by an 
example drawn from 1 immediate objects. 
'. An English landlord, though not so officious 
a personage as one of the old France perhaps 
courtesy, in the new, is unrepublican -is far 
more expert than the same sort of character in 
Germany. Mine host of Hillington has been 
liberal of his knowledge and civility both 

N 2 

\ <*.. ' . ; ,* 

..,* t *' 



GXEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

qf which he dispensed in the following manner, 
without charging these articles in his bill As I 
was- drawing on my gloves at the outward door 
of his house he. thus began : 

You are disposed I see, Sir, for a walk 

flP>v*V ' J ' 

in our bit ,of a village. Except our Hall, 

v/j . --*- 3 ' "* *~^ 

there is nothing worth seeing, nor that much, 



And > what i the name of the Owner ? 

Sir. Martin Folkes, a very worthy gentleman 

my house, is his observe the sign, Sir Hil- 

V" ; 

lington-Hallj and a good Hall it is, for rich 

and for poor- and there goes Sir Martin and 
that's his daughter, as good as himself. Not 
such a Jiprtune, Sir, as our Mr. Coke, and 

T-CJ^"- ' * "/ '-' ' ' ' 

our Marqtlis Townseno^ or the new^Lord of 
Hough ton ; -but has- as good a heart as any of 
them, and that is saying a bold word for our 

* <4 

Baronet too. 

^Pleased with report thus far, I thanked my 
reporter, and passed on to. the stable, where a 
man was rubbing down a friend, whom I never 
forget. 

I am not the hostler, Sir, says the man, but 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND.' 18f , 

1 lend him a hand, such ^as if is', wherrhe'i&bk? 
of the way ; he 'is gone into the field for tfufSir' 
Martin make hay while the suri srfines, 'Jrdtf 
know, Sir, 'such weather as this; bur for that: 
matter, were it deep 'of winter/ who would: "riof 
work up to his chin in water " for" our Sif 
Martin. 

This Sir Martin bears a good name antoh^ 

j'ff.. . ,^,^ r * 

you then ? 

- f'Vill tell" you how you shall have him at 
dnce and as true as this is" a whisp of "stfaW ;i 
for, old as I am, there is^not a he dr 'she in the : 
parish liive ever caught me ih^a lie". ^As'td'Sir 
Martin then, I will, as I said, tell ydu^IioW f-'ou 

shall have him at once, and do' the Aeedful'to 

' ** * * j 
tins p'odf beast of yoitrs at 'the same iiifia? 6 Ij 



He twisted a fre'shAvhisp,' and riiBbed away.* '" 

* Ih^'tKe first place; Sir Martin is a'mari'-re-" 
markably gcTod at justtzemg. ^* J 

1 What, he sends some of you to the StSckT 
and House of Correction ? 2 " * 

** .- * 

You shall hear : if any of our Farmers "are 

' jz 
IrarcLahd heavy on a poor man, he wilt see hun 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND.. 

right* sidecl . 'Tis in vain for a Farmer to dowit 
with a poor man, because Sir Martin,, if he 
deserves it, will as surely up him again ; ay 
$ind set him on his legs stronger than ever, and 
tnake no more of the Farmer than I dp of this 
c$traw ; same by the Farmer ; for if he wants 
fighusiding, right-sided he shall be : and so 
shall your hqnour's horse presently. 
A large estate I suppose ? 
Where he has a penny I wish he had a 
pound ^However he don't want Stock and 
shock o' the parish is his ; and what I say of 
him, every chick and child will say also. 
A young Gentleman, is he not ? 
You shall have him at once there likewise 
his eldest daughter God bless her- a sweet 
young Lady, and a fine a jot ago, past the 
stable-door. She is about sixteen, more or less, 
so, you know, he must be about forty, more or 
less a time for all things no great age \ yet 
Ke's a Father to me that am sixty and two, and 
$ bit besides. 
How go ? 
You shall have him again. You must know, 









GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 183 

that after having served one of our topping Far- 
mers thirty and three years, comes a new man 
into Farm and outs with me thereupon I went 
to Sir Martin to justed with him a little; Your 
honour, says I, you know all about me. I then 
ufd and told him my caseam I to be outed 
after this fashion, and after such a sort of years 
service ? Sir Martin thought and thought, and 
resulted and resulted. 

Never mind my good fellow, said he, when 

he had done resulting I will take care of you 

And so he did ; and so he does still- and I 

^ have a house and a home, and am merry to say, 

God bless the donor ! 

Here is something, honest friend, to drink 
Sir Martin's health, after you have given my 
horse something to drink also, and then you 
may get him ready. 

All jhat shall be done, Sir, and I will drink 
your health into the bargain ; and if you are 
half as good as our Baronet, to God will you go, 
die when you please. 

I have taken a turn round the pleasure 
grounds by paths in the park whicr^ are ope.x* 



GLEANINGS IN 



to the passenger ; and in one of- them I met 
three women and a boy returning from the 
JJalL ^ Two had their aprons well stored, with 
;22on?~than _the crumbs that /ell from the rich- 

+*- ~i ' 

n^aiaVtable-7-a third had- a large bowl of broth 
igi^her^ndi and the lad was laden with an 
ample jugg of. milk, 

8 You-have met: with good luqk this morning, 
my friends. 

"We meat as .good any day when we have 
a. mind to go for it, said one of the women^ 
<y^ .we don't Eke- to spur a free horse ta ^ 

1 ^p^^ * 

Where do you come from ? 
Hillington-Hall r was the answer. 
^ I required no more ; the evidence was all-- 

. O'f 

' sufficient for me to look at the mansion with 

;.-:':: 

the reverence due* to philanthropy, and pro- 
nouncing as I passed blessed be the inhabit- 

O I i 

ants! Nor, in your future survey of this ullage, 
v/ill r you forget the circumstances that induce 
me to recommend it. 

In the^rnap, of Norfolk it occupies an incon- 

siderable spot.. .It ,13, scarce noted in the com- 
. . 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 185 

mou Road-books : a few straggling farms and 
cottages comprise the : whole hamlet the Hall 
itself -is neither imposing, by its grandeur, nor 
awful from" its antiquity; and the circumjacent 
country is rather scanty than prodigal of the 
riches and the graces of Nature ; yet shall gra- 
titude and hospitality ennoble it to your mind, 
even as" it will to that of your correspondent, 
" It is not," said Atticus to Tally, u our 
superb Athens so delights me by its magnificent- 
structures, as by presenting me, with the images, 
of excellent men, whilst I review the houses 
where they liv'd, the benches where they sat, 
the places where they disputed. And with plea- 
sure, also, J contemplate their sepulchres. I 
shall ever love, therefore," continued Atticus, 
the' spot where thou Cicero wert born." On 
this principle I shall ever appreciate Hilling- 

tOn-Hall. ;-.gJo7 '^W-^ 

The importance of private benevolence, or .of , 
tyranny, as exercised by the Esquire or Lord, 
or whatever other name or title the chief per- 
sonage bears, in a small town or village, is. 
beyond common calculation. He can almost 



186 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 

give the part of the country where he is resident, 
anew face : bid peace and comfort smile around 
his neighbourhood, or cover it with gloom. If 
his disposition leads him to benignity, the 
poorest hovel shall boast a chearful hearth, and 
all its tenantry sport in- his influence. At little 
cost, he may exclude even the powers of Envy 
from the bosoms of the lowly, and implant the 
more happy inmates of gratitude and joy. He 
may extend his generous sway, so far as to dis- 
pense amongst those over whom Fortune has 
given him dominion, the lenitives of pain, the 
solaces of disease, and attemper death itself; 
nor are his good offices less eminently useful for 
the body than the soul : the wisdom of his 
precepts, or the example of his practice, dis- 
countenances the vice, and gives energy to the 
virtue of his dependents : their heads and their 
hearts thrive equally under his protectorship 
and he includes in his character * the philan- 



* It is on these grounds that the fashion which too many 
idopt, of being in a manner only visitors at their family 
mansions, and at home every where else, is to be deplored. 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 187 

thropist, the physician, the moralist, or the 
Christian, 



f < To the desertion of their country seats," observes an 
ingenious writer, " may be traced the greater part of 1 the 
evils which we lament in every neighbourhood." In many, 
indeed too many, neighbourhoods would have been more 
correct : perhaps he limited the universal word " every" to 
MENEACE, which includes the parish of MANACCAN, where 
the authour resides, and where it is truly melancholy, he 
tells us, to observe from every point of prospect the number 
cf old mansion-houses or villas that have fallen into decay, 
in the course of the last fifty years. He even informs us, 
that good neighbourhood is now not only out of fashion, but 
that the very term is the subject of ridicule. 

Mr. POLWHELE, even admitting that he confines this 
heavy charge to Devonshire and Cornwall, impresses his 
readers with A MOST startling idea respecting two fair 
and important counties of England,, which have been long 
famed not more for picturesque beauties of nature, than for 
tfie urbanities and hospitalities of society. This is degrading 
the " Cornish hug" with a vengeance. At the same time 
we must perfectly agree with this writer, that, where most 
of the inhabitants are upon an equality, and there is scarce a 
resident Gentleman, as he informs us is the case in the whole 
peninsula of MENEAGE, the little tradesmen, peasantry, and 
even the great farmers gradually lose their respect for rank, 
and many decorums of society, for want of a living good ex- 
ample, which, indeed, can alone attach respectability to 
titles. And what repeated improprieties and occasional enor- 
mities must arise from the inclinations of uninformed minds, 
may be easily conceived. Nor are the inconveniences to 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 

It is, indeed,, almost impossible to enumerate" 
the degrees of felicity which may result from an 



the-clergy are subjected in such a situation, less ob- 
s: scattered as they are over the different parishes, they 
Ijare abundant reason for lamenting their solitary unsupported' 
state. In the mean time, most of the proprietors of the good 
old English seats (once pbsse'st by men of family as well as 
fortune) pas-s their time in the county-towns, occupied by 
borough chicanery, and mining projects : while those of 
higher degree spend their winters in London, and their sum- 
mers at some dull watering place ; or, if they happen to make 
a visit of a month or two, to their country-seats, introduce 
into their neighbourhoods all the vices of the metropolis. 
And what can be more shocking than tonhh voluptuousness 
engrafted upon mulish rusticity ? The last circumstance, 
indeed, is .scarcely observable in the peninsula in which I 
reside,- says. Mr. P. nor in any of these particulars would 
1 speak, exclusively, of Meneage. Other parts 'of Corn- 
wall, and of England have the same cause to complain of the 
absence of country-gentlemen ; and the common people* 
there, afe equally headstrong and licentious. In truth, such 
is the nature of man, that the multitude, abandoned to " their 
own hearts desire," have in all ages', and in all countries, 
become more and more depraved, till at length they have sunk - 
into the deepesj degeneracy. . 

MR._POLWHELE has introduced these remarks in his " Old 
English' Gentleman," with a very interesting description of 
one of these deserted manor houses, or ruined ancient seats,' 
and which, taken in a frequent, by no means universal I 
trust, indeed, not general, acceptation, must charm every 
reader of his poem^ arid will, ih'this place, served a'contrasT 



GLEANINGS' IN* BN-GI/AN1>. 

intelligent,, upright, and benevolent country 
gentleman^ whom Providence has blessed with 
the means of doing good.. 



to the honour, virtue and happiness derived from all 

like Hillington-Hall, and a variety of others to which we 

are approaching : 

" While now the sounds of cordial union fail* 
Where glooms the lonesome vill o'er every dale ; 
While floats no more the voice of castled mirth, 
And scarce a cricket cheers the cottage-hearth ; 
Each, little neighbourhood may,, perhaps,, afford 
Some grave historian of its ancient lord 
Some hoary peasant once a pamper'd groom, 
Who tells, with, rueful air, the mansion's doom; 
When Sawle,. in wedlock with Erizey linkt, 
In his old master was at length extinct, 
Where his fleet racer vanish'd from the view, 

And where the last -goonhilly perish'd too 

Some gamekeeper, who now with drooping mien, 
Eyes his jwre plush, alas ! no longer green ; 
Laments his master (doom'd far off to roam, 
An exile, for ceconomy, from home) 
And, as eacrr feature various griefs distort, 
Regrets the sad cessation of the sport, 
While boys with fearless shouts around him run, 
And at mid day the poacher vaunts his gun 

v Perhaps some vicar, who, half-craz'd with care, 
Recounts the ruin of a thriftless heir, 
Pointing with signs that grief and pity mark, 
To. his old patron's pale- dismantled park, 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 

On the other hand, if he is of a harsh and 
despotic temper, of a base and sordid nature, 
the pleasing picture here drawn, the original of 
which your conscious eye has a daily oppor- 
tunity of seeing displayed in every part of your 
own signiory, would instantly change to its 
reverse, and spread to the utmost limit of the 
village despot's authority. His tenants would 
languish, his peasantry droop, the spacious 
mansion, where, like some malign demon, he 
resides in solitary grandeur, or amidst selfish 
carousals, would be annoyed by the curse of 
the cottagers. They would lie in wait for 
occasions of reprisal, either in the silent mischief 
of nightly depredations ; or armed by wrongs, 
act in avowed opposition to the oppressor's 
wishes and commands. 






Fell'd trees, where whispering airs no Ibnger play, 
And dismal windows that exclude the day ; 
Where harvest wak'd the pastimes of delight 
Sa pure, as ne'er again shall charm the sight ; ^. 
And drest in garb so gay was Christmas hoar, 
As shall relieve his wearied eyes no more ; 
Unless such hospitable cheer he see 
In fond idea .-with the Muse and me !" 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. IQl 

How often have I seen a pestilential wretch 
of this kind, even in generous England, diffuse 
the aggravations of penury, of sickness, and 
of misery around him ! All ages and descriptions 
of persons unite to produce the vexation which 
such a being deserves, and can never escape : 
he is the scorn* 6f the better part of his neigh- 
bourhood, and the terror as well as scourge of 
the children of indigence ! But, thank heaven, 
much oftener have I seen amongst us the man 
of kinder manners operate as a most balmy 
antidote to this rural poison I have seen child- 
hood hang fondly on his robe, as if it were the 
mantle of an angel ; I have observed the youth 
cf the country follow his steps as if they led, to 
heaven. Towards him, too, have I noticed age 
hurry under the crutch, that it might not lose 
an opportunity of paying him the homage of 
the silver hair. In the slip of ground attached 
to the meanest shed, the wholesome herb is 
substituted for the thistle, which haply, a 
harder master caused to grow there ; a cheary 
faggot warms the hut within, arid an uncankered 
rose blooms without. It is a sacred srajp of 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLANlf* 

property, a cherished morsel of independence, 
which many of my more fortune-favoured coun- 
trymen delight to bestow, and it makes the 
labourer's heart feel proudly, even while it recon- 
ciles him to his humble situation ; he reflects that, 
though it is. his lot to toil over a thousand 
acres for others, he has one dear spot which he 
may call HIS OWN. O, those two little words, 
my friend, how great is their import ! and how 
frequently does a single acre, before which the 
exulting heart can place these monosyllables.; 
out-measure kingdoms and empires ! The' span 
of ground which has been dressed by the hand 
of affection is often more precious to -the peasant,, 
who can say IT is MINE, than the whole domain 1 
of his master; and the simplest flower, which- 
that smiling pittance of earth may yield, proves? 
a more welcome heart-gift to the bosom of her he* 
loves, when he who presents it can say, it is 
from my owngarden^andwas set ly my own-hand,** 
than- if it had been the offering of a monarch. 
You will find in many parts of Norfolk, and, 
indeed, very generally, through the island, 
these, elevations of the human character, where- 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. lQ3 

as, in many other States/ the subordinate, 
though certainly not the least useful classes of 
Society, so far from being encouraged, to 
believe, that they have a mite of property,, are 
not even permitted to feel that they are them- 
selves, in comparison of the higher orders, 
more than mites in the vast creation. 

At a country seat in a small town, or village, 
generosity and avarice, loving-kindness and 
tyranny are as easily seen, and as plainly felt as 
the sun-beam and the mildew; but I consider 
a well-accommodated nobleman, of gentleman 
resident upon, or frequently resorting to, his 
estate, as a first-rate benefactor of mankind. In 
the vast metropolis, I may admire his establish- 
ment, seem for a moment, though but for a 
moment I hope, diminished by his situation, 
or be really attracted by his talents and popular 
qualities'; but all this, in his town house has 
more or less of a grand exhibition : it gives the 
sensation of a spectacle ; and, on the gala scale, 
measures to little more than the gaze of the 
mob, as their eyes pursue the ornaments of his 
carriage^ or the court dress in which his natural 

VOL. iv. O 



1Q4 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

size and shape are encumbered and concealed, 
when he disenthralls himself from that carriage 
to make his bow at the levee. 

It is chiefly at his country seat, and in the 
thriving farms, or comfort-brightening cottages, 
which encircle and rejoice around, like satel- 
lites illumined and fed by their planet, that I 
can offer him the tribute of my affection. And 
when I have witnessed a man of this description, 
in the benignity of his orb effusing his rays, 
where their light and heat were wanted, I have 
frequently compared him with the most re- 
nowned conqueror, brightest wit, or most 
august potentate, provided they had nothing 
better than the laurels of victory or genius, or 
the sceptre of dominion and found him supe- 
rior to them all. " After having made to pass 
in review before the reader," says an ingenious 
writer, " the many tyrants who oppressed the 
earth, the many madmen who laid it waste, the 
many fanatics who have been deceived, it may 
be asked of what advantage to mankind were 
the conquests of Clovis, the cunning of Ma- 
homet, the victories of Charlemagne, the 
1 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

invasion of William the Norman, the valour of 
Godfrey de Bouillon, the prudence of Rhodolplu 
of Hapsburgh, the politics of Charles the Fifth, 
the ambition of Philip the Second, and the 
genius of Richelieu?" Their empires, their 
.triumphs, their conquests, their politics, these 
disappeared with them. Even the violent 
shocks they gave the world have scarcely left 
a trace of them. We contemplate with in- 
finitely more pleasure the discoveries of Vasco 
de Gama, and Columbus, the voyages of Ma- 
gellan, and of Drake ; the great changes which 
the intrepidity of Luther and Calvin produced 
in the politics and religions of Europe ; the 
labours of Copernicus and Tycho Brache, of 
Kepler and Galileo, the works of Bacon, 
Descartes, Newton and Locke ; the productions 
of Tasso, Shakspeare, Ben Jonson, and Dryden; 
of Corneille, Raphael, and Michael Angelo : 
the study of religious truths, of the sciences, 
and of Belles Lettres have a more beneficial, 
influence upon the mind, and produce more 
lasting effects, than the most intimate acquaint- 
ance with the conquests and intrigues of princes 

o 2 



1Q6 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

and statesmen. But we might go much farther. 
Baron. We might insist, that the private 
gentleman who preserves the morals, and pre- 
sides over the beings around him, as well by 
the influence of his example as his bounty, is 
the true glory of a nation. As far as in him 
lies, he repairs the ruins which have been made 
by the different circumstances that set men 
.at variance : in fine, that every such person, of 
whatever country, of whatever persuasion, tends 
to RE-CREATE that order, which the anarchy of 
clashing interests, and the wild hurry of human 
passions, have brought into the world. 

The most delightful object, afforded us by 
the bountiful Creator, my friend, is a rich and 
good man dispensing comfort of body, and 
content of soul, to the Poor, and the Unhappy, 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND 



F:o LETTER X. 



HOUGHTON, August, 

JL ILL we get within about two miles of 
HOUGHTON a contracted kind of scenery pre- 
vails, but then it is that more spacious fields, 
ample pastures, and extended woodlands, with 
a road broadning to your feet, and foliage 
arching over your head, announce something 
extraordinary. By the imposing attraction o 
these, you enter upon the long-celebrated 
domain of the WALPOLES, who took their 
names from a town in what is called the marsh^ 
land gf this county. Here, Joceline de WaU 
pole, was living in the reign of our first 
Richard; but Reginalde de Walpole, who 
flourished in. the time of. our, first Henry, is 
thought to be the lineal ancestor of the present 
family: not that. I hold the settlement of this 
matter quite so material as the disputed point 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

between " the good men of Lynn" whether 
King Henry * or King John presented the 
cup and sword to the corporation. It would, 
indeed, run Time himself out of breath, as 
well as you, my friend, out of patience, to 
follow this illustrious house, from Richard, 
who married Emma, daughter of Walter de 
Houghton, topping thus the free ancestral, 
and sliding down again by its ramifications 
till we reach the far-famed Sir Robert, whose 
branch put forth all the blooming honours, 
hereditary and acquired, and yielded its richest 
fruit in due season, after it first began to 
sprout in l674. A thousand times more than 
I can make room for, about all this, as well in 
regard to the family under consideration, as that 
of Holkham, Rainhim, and fifty others, you will 
find curiously and laboriously set down for you 
in the county-histories ; yea, and in the several 



* If it be true, that the honour of a gift is derived wholly 
from the intrinsic worth of the giver, it might, perhaps, 
puzzle the best balancers to know on which side of these 
royal Donors the preponderations of the scale of honour 
trepidate. 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

skew-books, presented to ladies and gentlemen- 
travellers,, at the skew-houses by the domestic 
oracles in waiting, and who have related the 
family honours so often, that you will hear 
them describe the beauty of one ancestor, the 
heroism of another, and the bounty of a third, 
with as unmeaning a voice and tone as the 
chorister chaunts his hymn, or the school-boy 
chimes his lesson; looking at the same time with 
as unmoved a set of features, and as inveterate 
an aspect as the great founders of the family, 
whether rufFd or whisker'd, whether in tapes- 
try, marble or bronze. For these good reasons 
I shall not describe them here. Much less 
shall I rob the household historians of their 
perquisite, by leading you step by step through 
the apartments, beginning with the Hall of 
Entrance, although the ceiling and the frieze of 
boys were executed by Alteri ; though the base 
reliefs are from the antique ; and though the 
figures over the great doors and the boys over 
the small ones, are by Rystrack : thence to the 
marble parlour. And least of all shall I enter 
into a catalogue of the treasury which the 



200 "GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 

Picture Gallery of this seat had once to boast s 
because that would be to inflict on a man of 
your taste, the torment of Tantalus, the said 
"treasure being now to be enjoyed only by a 
journey to the palace of the heir of the Impe- 
rial Purchaser. * Yet I will not refuse you 
such an account of this splendid edifice, as may 
engage your curiosity to consider it worth your 
notice were there no object but itself; but 
not till I have directed your attention to some 
things which your heart will deem of far more 
consequence, and at the same time save you. 
the pains of hunting through formidable folios^ 
and scarce less terrific quartos. v 'st) 

I will begin by the very beautiful, because 
chaste yet rich, concise yet copious inscription, 
by Horace Walpole, of whom in his place > 
on -the monument of a lady whose portrait will 
t>e shewn you, and which you will contemplate 






* August 1779 the grand collection of pictures were 
removed from Hough ton -Hall, the seat of the Earl of 
Orford, to Russia ; purchased .by the Empress of Russia at 
the sum of ^45*500. 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 201, 

with even a tender interest, after you have 
thus been made acquainted with her singular 
virtues, 

To the Memory 

of 

CATHERINE LADY WALPOLE, 
r. c First Wife of Sir Robert Walpole, 
Afterwards Earl of Orford: 

HORACE, 

Her youngest Son, 
Consecrates Ms Monument, 

She had Beauty and Wit 

WITHOUT VICE AND VANITY; 

And cultivated the Arts 

WITHOUT AFFECTATION. 

She was Devout, 

THOUGH WITHOUT BIGOTRY TO ANY SECT; 

And was without prejudice to any party, 

THOUGH THE WIFE OF A MINISTER: 

Whose power she esteemed 
But when she could employ it 

To benefit the Miserable, 
Or to reward the Meritorious, 



202 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

She lov'd a private Life, 

THOUGH BORN TO SHINE IN PUPLIC; 

And was an ornament to Courts, 

UNTAINTED BY THEM. 

She died August 20th, 1737. 

The first impression made on the mind of & 
classic traveller upon a first view of plantations 
which have been cultured, and mansions that 
have been erected by illustrious persons, more 
particularly if their celebrity has been derived 
from the splendour of intellectual or moral 
qualities, is that, my friend, which will impress 
yours, long before the doors of this noble 
edifice shall be opened to you by the servant 
permitted to shew them. With the rapidity of 
thought, your mind will go back to all you 
have heard or read of the celebrated * founder, 



* There has lately been given to us, the Memoirs of Sir 
Robert Walpole, by an author every way qualified to 
become the biographer of that great minister and extraordi- 
nary man. The performance of Mr. Cox will fill your 
mind with a history of the politicks not only of this country 
but of Europe for the space of half a century. Rejecting 
with equal disdain every inflated encomium and exaggerated 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 203 

and those distinguished relatives who hare 
successively possessed and ennobled it. Ths 



assurance, the Historian conducts us through the event* of 
Sir Robert's public and private life, with great truth and 
impartiality from his youth to his death. Unseduced by the 
voice of Friendship, Admiration or Flattery which, at 
one time, gravely told us, Sir Robert was lorn a minister; 
at another, that he was endowed with a genius for calcula* 
tion, and that all application was unnecessary, because he 
knew every thing by intuition Mr. Cox informs us, that 
Sir Robert Walpole came early into Parliament ; spoke at 
first indifferently, until habit and practice rendered him an able 
debater : that he was promoted to an office in the admiralty 
in the 28th year of his age ; became secretary at war at 
thirty; was trained to business under Marlborough and 
Godolphin ; and managed the House of Commons during the 
Whig administration. Being deprived of his place, he dis- 
tinguished himself in opposition ; was persecuted by the 
Tories, and considered as a martyr by the Whigs. He pro- 
moted, with unabated zeal, the Protestant succession, and 
was rewarded for his services with the place of paymaster of 
the forces by the new Sovereign, whom he had assisted in 
fixing upon the throne. Thus educated, and inured to busi- 
ness, having thus served under government, and acted in 
opposition, he was placed at the head of the Treasury. In 
this situation, adored by his family, beloved by his friends, 
and esteemed by his party, he was courted and idolized. 

The fate of Sir Robert Walpole's character as a minister 
has been extremely singular. While he was in power, he was 
reviled with unceasing obliquy, and his whole conduct 
arraigned as a mass of corruption and political depravity. 



204 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

inanimate objects. first looked at, within and 
svithout, will soon become secondary*. The 



Bat he himself lived to see the propriety of his preventive 
measures acknowledged by the public. As time softened the 
asperities of personal animosity, and as the spirit of parry 
subsided, there was scarcely one of his opponents who did 
not publicly or privately retract their unqualified censures, 
and pay a due tribute to the wisdom of the general principles 
which guided his administration. Impartial posterity has 
done still greater justice to the memory of a statesman, who, 
whatever might have been his public or private defects, 
maintained his country in tranquillity for a longer period, 
than has been experienced since the reign of James the 
First. -tf - ;i 

And Mr, Burke, who seems to have fairly appreciated his 
merits, and scanned his defects, observes, (( that the pru- 
dence, steadiness, and vigilance of Sir Robert Walpole, 
joined to the greatest possible lenity in his character, and 
his politics, preserved the crown to this Royal Family ; and 
with it, their laws and liberties to this country. " 

His address, moreover, was so frank and open, his con- 
versation so pleasing, and his manner so fascinating, that 
those who lived with him in habits 'of intimacy adored him, 
those who saw him occasionally loved him, and even his 
most bitter opponents could not hate him. One of these did 
not hesitate to say of him, " Never was a man in private 
life more beloved :" and his enemies allow no man did ever 
in private life deserve it more. He was humane and grate- 
ful, and a generous friend to all who he did not think would 
abuse that friendship. His character naturally procured that 
attachment to his person, which has been falsely attributed 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 205 

T ' 

simple circumstance of knowing that many of 
the trees in the magnificent woods were planted 



Solely to a corrupt influence and to private interest ; but this 
shewed itself at a time when these principles were very faint 
in their operation, and when his ruin seemed inevitable. 

Although he was thought neither to love or encourage 
their art, and even to neglect men of letters, our poets have 
been liberal of their eulogiums. Pope says 

" Seen him, I have, but in his happier hour 
Of social pleasure, ill-exchang'd for pow'r ; 
Seen him, uncumber'd with the venal tribe, 
Smile without art, and win without a bribe." 

And Mr. Coxe has inserted a portrait drawn by the pen of 
the elegant Sir Charles Hanbury Williams, from whose tri- 
bute the subsequent lines will afford you pleasure : 

" form'd to govern, and to please ; t 

Familiar greatness, dignity with ease, 
Compos'd his frame, admir'd in every state, 
In private amiable, in public great ; 
Gentle in power, but daring in disgrace ; 
His love was liberty, his wish was peace. 
Such was the man that smil'd upon my lays ; -\ 

And what can heighten thought or genius raise, > 

. Like praise from him whom all mankind must praise ? 3 
Whose knowledge, courage, temper, all surpris'd, 
Whom many lov'd, few hated, none despis'd." 

I cannot wholly take leave of his character without clear- 
ing him in one instance of that want of political decorum, 
and for the derision of that public spirit for which his bio. 
grapher observes, he was in general blamed with good reason, 



206 CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

by Sir Robert Walpole, will carry your reflec- 
tions from the plantation to the planter,, and all 
which refers solely to vegetation, however 
delicious its charm at other times to the senses, 
will give place to more profound reflections. 
You will take a retrospective view of the extra- 
ordinary man who continued first British Minis- 
ter of State from the time that the structure 
was begun in 1722 to its complete finishing, 
inside and out, in 1735. The whole expanse 
of your mind will fill with the events, charac- 
ters and deep public concerns which marked 
the epoch of his administration. The history 
of this little island, and of the vast continent, , 
as connected with, and suffer me to say, in 
many respects, dependent on its politicks and 
its commerce, will croud upon you : for a while, 



I allude to the political axiom generally attributed to him, 
that all men have their price> and which has been so of ten 
repeated in verse and prose, but the sense was perverted by 
leaving out the word those. Flowery oratory he despised ; 
he- ascribed to the interested views of themselves or their 
relatives, the declarations of pretended patriots, of whom 
he said, " All THOSE men have their price " and in the event,, 
many of them justified his observation. 



GLfeANINGS IN ENGLAND. 2O? 

Woods which have long been the admiration of 
travellers, will shrink diminished before you, 
or be so subordinate to the governing idea, that 
you will be able to afford then no distinct 
notice ; and the very first portrait you are shewn 
of tHis Minister, or of Horace Walpole, will 
engross your whole attention, though the keeper 
of the house lions, who has little time to spare 
for contemplative visitors, will be impatient to 
draw you off from Statesmen and from Bards, 
to her Derbyshire marble, bronze Gladiators, 
granite cisterns, alabaster columns, velvet beds, 
sleeping Venusses, bathing Nymphs, santa 
Susannas and Court beauties. 

But as all these, and whatever is assembled 
near them, certainly deserve the notice of every 
traveller, and will be the principal attractions 
with most, I will no longer withhold the 
promised description ; you will gain a clear idea 
from what follows. 

The extent of the building, including the 
colonnade and wings, which contain the offices, 
is 450 feet; the main body of the house extends 
166 feet. The hall, which is furnished in the 



2O8 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

inside with stone, is a cube of 40 feet; the 
saloon 40 by 30 feet; and the other rooms are 
18 feet high. The rustic and attic stories are 12 
feet high each ; under the rustic story are arched 
vaults. The whole building is of stone, and is 
crowned with an entablature of the Ionic 
order, with a balustrade above; and there is a 
cupola with lanterns, at each corner of -the 
house. The mansion, for the compass of 
ground it stands on, is reckoned as finely orna- 
mented, and as well furnished as any house in 
the kingdom. 

The foundation-stone placed in the south-east 
angle, hath a Latin inscription upon it to the 
following purport. " Here, that Sir Robert 
Walpole, with whom thou, posterity, shalt not 
be unacquainted, hath fixed me to stand, as the 
foundation of a seat, . designed to be built in his 
native country, the 24th day of May in the 
ye"ar J722. ' GOD grant, that after its master, 
to a mature old age, shall have long enjoyed it 
in perfection, his latest descendents may safely 
possess it, in an unimpaired condition, to the 
end of time 1" 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 20Q 

To this inscription, has been annexed the 
subsequent morsel of morality. " One would 
think Sir Robert, had in his thoughts, the 
uncertain state in all ages and countries, of 
Prime Ministers, and of the superb structures 
built by them in the height of their power." 

Neither shall the august anecdote be omitted 
of one of your German Emperors, who being in 
England when Duke of Lorraln, was entertained 
at Houghton with the most magnificent repast 
that it is said was ever given in this kingdom ; a 
right patriotic banquet too, loyal as liberal, for, 
it seems, all the fish, and all the fowl, and all 
the game, and every other viand, was of the 
produce of Old England, and its domestic 
appendages ! yea, and the variety, such as 
was never before known or collected at one 
table. Even relays of horses were provided on 
the roads to bring rarities from the remotest 
parts of the Empire ! 

In the way from Syderstone, the woods 
appear to the greatest advantage ; they are seen 
to a great extent, with openings left judiciously 
in many places, to let in the view of more 

VOL. iv. P 



21O GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

distant plantations,, which changes the shade 
and gives them that solemn brownness that 
has always a happy effect. It appears to give a 
congenial colour to thought, and the hue most 
favourable to meditation. 

The woods, J which are seen from the south*- 
front of the house, are planted with great judg- 
ment, to remedy the defect of a flat country. 
The trees are so disposed as to appear one be- 
yond aftother in different shades. 

Having banquetted your taste and feelings in 
a survey of this stately Pile and all that there 
meets the eye, you will allow me to conduct 
you to other interesting objects. I have to beg 
then, you will, in idea, accompany me in a 
walk across the park, by the newly-projected 
' grand entrance, to the place where all greatness 
but that of the soul must fade away, the place 
of sepulture. 

Houghton-church is a neat gothic building 
hi the full view of the hall, thus furnishing a 
picturesque and moral object to the living 
proprietors. 

I am attended in my visit to this sacred 
2 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 211 

spot by the village-clerk, who is another of 
those original beings so frequently to be met 
with in England, and who is at this moment so 
singularly blending* an account of himself with 
his information of others, that if I can describe 
both, as well as he has done, and that I may the 
more vividly do so, I have, as usual, my pencil in 
my hand you will gain the truth of character, 
through all the quaintness and oddity of the 
reporter, better than if Biography was to address 
you in all her dignity ; though she were to wait 
on you arrayed in her long robes, sweeping into 
their folds all the pomps and vanities of posthu- 
mous panegyric. 

" You come on a remarkable day, Sir 
Stranger, birth-day of his Royal Highness- 
ship, George, by the Grace of GOD, Prince of 
Wales ; and on that of our Audit- Feast ; and 
moreover, the day before we begin harvest ; 
so ten of his Highness-ship's father's pictures 
set in gold, have been given by order of our 
new Lord, and the Lord love him. for it, to 
drink his Highness-ship's health, and success 
to harvest. You took me just in the right nick. 



212 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 

Sir Stranger : r-was beginning to be merry there 
at the King's Head ; merry but wise; later 
i' the day, you might have found me non- 
composid a-Fity for to-morrow, as I said, 
begins harvest ; and harvest comes but once a 
year, Sir Stranger; and if a man don't get, as I 
may say, a little sun-burtid here i' the noddle, 
before he sticks sickle into corn, why the whole 
N stack will catch cold before it gets into sheaf, 
that's our Norfolk notion, so we treat with a 
little of last year's corn-^-out of the barrel- 
hope no offence, Sir Gentleman Stranger. 
None in the world, Mr, Clerk. 
Clerk, Sir Gentleman, is only ^ my title; my 
name is Jarvis ; and I am, moreover, Sexton as 
well ; and more than that, I am the greatest 
fool in Houghton-Parish ; nay, in this whole 
hundred of Gallow where it stands ; and if any 
man can prove himself a greater numps than 
Jarvis, let him come forth. 
How so, my friend ? 

Look at those pretty deer staring at you, Sir 
Stranger, while some stamp their little feet, as 
though they were angry at you, while others 



GLEANINGS IX ENGLAND, 213 

trot away as if they were frightened at you, 
and some keep nibbling the grass as if they cared 
nothing about you; by the same token, I have 
seen as fine a head of deer in this park as in any 
of Norfolk ; and, would you believe it, I had, 
for a sort* of years, the care of all those 
dappled fellows, and hundreds upon hundreds 
more ; I was their play-fellow, and their friend, 
Sir Gentleman, and the poor fools knew me, 
and would follow me, and eat out of my hand, 
and I do really think, they loved me as well as 
they do one another : as well as that doe at 
feed under the elms, does the fawn by its side : 
and when i' the venison time, I was obliged to 
single my marks from the herd, I went skulking 
about the park like a thief; and for that 
matter so I was, you know ; I felt just as if 
I was going to shoot a child ; and when I hit 
any of them, they cried just like one : O, 'tis 
a barbarous piece of work, Sir Gentleman !-*- 
and when I have seen 'em, just as they were 



* Sort of years, sorf of money, &c. is a word in constant 
e amongst the unlettered classes of people in Norfolk,. 



214 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND.. 

dying, looking pitifully in my face,, with the 
tears in their eyes, I thought I deserved to be 
shot myself. 

But how came your Lord to part with so good 
a park-keeper ? 

He, part ! GOD love the stone that covers 
him ! I will shew it you presently. I parted 
myself. I was not. only park, but game-keeper, 
and a better thing besides,- Lord George's 
right-hand man, as he used to call me. First 
thing in a morning was, Jarvis, bring my boots; 
Jarvis, my slippers ; how fare the greyhounds, 
the deer, the horses, and more than all, the 
sheep, hey Jarvis? and all just as fttespoken, 
and kindly as I am to jtou, and so on for years ; 
hasty and hot a little now and then, to be sure; 
but give him his way, that youngster of a 
fawnling skipping across our path, might lead 
him; but cross-grain him, and one OT our 
bulls, and there is a mad one in the meadows, 
could not match him for raving and roaring. 
Let him run on, he would stop before he got 'at 
you, and give you his hand instead of his foot ; 
and I, that knew all this, and that loved him as 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 215 

I did my soul, and might have kept my place 
till his death-hour. I to go and say to him 
one day, as I did ! Lord George, if you don't 
like rne, leave me, Lord George; if you think 
you can mend yourself, try. And what, Sir 
Stranger, do you think he did upon this ? 
Up's with a table, and if I had not run off and 
shut the door, would have smash' d my saucy- 
sconce as I hear he smash'd the table, and there 
would have been an end of Jarvis. 

Why did you not return, and by submission, 
try to- make your peace, Jarvis ? 

Afraid and ashamed, Sir Stranger, and you 
would have been afraid top, he glared at me 
like a lion, and would have devoured me just 
as easily. O, Lord George ! . what a terrible 
Lord George you was in a passion ! and Q, 
Jarvis, Jarvis, what a d d numps must you be, 
who knew this, not to let him have^it out 
with you! If a '.servant, or tenant, or neighbour, 
wquld but give him time to turn himself round 
in one of his high winds, he would be as mild 
as a May morning; but when once he turned 



(2l6 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

any one away for cross-hoppling, never took him 



again. 



That was an unfortunate day for you, friend 
Jarvis. 

So my brother got the place, and held it to 
my Lord's death, and holds it still ; for our last 
Lord, Lord Horace, one of your scholar gentry, 
though we never saw much of him, indeed, 
after he was lorded, kept all the old servants ; 
and our new Lord has not yet said, you must go, 
to any of them; so I suppose they are to stay. 
Ay, Sir Stranger, it was a sorrowful thing, to 
think I never afterwards could hear the best 
master, and the best man in the world, say, 
how do the greyhounds? how fare the deer? 
and how are all the people in Houghton-village ? 
with Jarvis, or good Jarvis, and sometimes, 
friend Jarvis, at the end of the question. It 
wasn't the losing the place, so much ; but never 
again being about such a master; having free 
regress and ingress into his own room; or if I 
saw him in the park, gardens, plantations, or 
what not, running to him, speaking to him on 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 217 

this case., and that case such a poor man is 
foot-sore, and should rest, Lord George ; such 
a poor woman is sick, and wants sommut more 
comforting than doctors or doctor's stuff, 
Lord George ; poor Snap must- have a holiday; 
Spring is fresh as a daisy again; Smoaker is now 
a match for any they can bring against him, 
Lord George. No, Sir Gentleman, this was 
all over ; and then to lose going of his errands 
i* the parish, or farther a-field, as case required ; 
a bottle of wine to one ; a brdth- joint to an- 
other; a bit 'of money to another; Jarvis, go 
and see how poor Will is ; carry something 
good to Tom's wife. Yes, Sir Stranger, to lose 
all this after such a sort of years, being his 
kindness-carrier, as I may say, to half the coun- 
try, for wherever there was a want, there would 
go Lord George or his kindness-carrier. But, 
after I had shot my fool's bolt, Sir Gentleman, 
no more of all this for me ; if I met him in my 
path, I dropt my head and slunk off like a 
hound who had been sheep worrying; and I 
have sat moping under a hedge, like a beggar 
going to steal the linen, or hid myself i' the 



'218 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 

woods as if I wanted to rob the house, though* 
GOD knows, I only went there because I was 
ashamed to be. seen; and many is the good 
cry I have had there, all alqne, though I sup- 
pose, at my age, Sir Stranger, you think I 
pught to be ashamed of that. But this would 
not do long; so I went to live in another family, 
because I hated at last, to see myself upon the 
grounds, where I was as useless as a nettle in a 
garden, and worse, for nobody thought it 
worth while ttf pull me up or knock me down 5 
Hejgho! and the deer too, they seem'd tq 
join against me. 

A /fallen favourite you know, Jarvis. 
[ I-kijpw what you mean, having, thank GOD,, 
a prejfy tightish understanding in the natural way. 
I was fallen out of favour sure enough, for Tall 
Jack,/ one of the old standards, a brave buck, 
when I came, like a fool one day, and walked 
a jmtter of twelve miles, just to look at the old 
park, shook his antlers at me, and stampt his 
foot several times, and stood as stiff as a ram, 
. as -much as to say-*-" You have no business at 
now, old Jarvis/' -But, since that 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

time,, I have got to be Sexton Clerk, and by 
coming backwards and forwards to this church, 
the dappled chaps, some of them get round me ; 
yet, I sometimes think, it is more for a little 
prog I now and then carry in my pocket, to 
coax them, rather than for love of me as it used 
to be ; heigho! heigho! Well, now if you 
please, Sir, we will go inside my church. 
Poor Lord George ! we have him there still. 
It was my lot to do for him after he was dead, 
however. I buried him. Would to GOD. he 
was alive, to look at me again, though he 
looked like a lion. I would not run away from 
him again, I promise. you. Angry or pleased, 
I never saw such another friend, nor landlord, 
nor master, and if you don't choose to believe 
me, ask every man, woman and child you meet, 
that knew him, in the country." 

We had rather strolled and sauntered in 
different directions near the chapel, than moved 
towards it, during the greatest part of the above 
conversation; from which, I trust, you will 
catch a more striking likeness of Lord 
George Orford, than from any, or from all 



220 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 



portraits, you will be shewn of him at the 
hall. You will see the genuine features of 
that truly worthy nobleman's soul, in their best 
lights, thinly shaded, if they may be called 
shades, by his singular manners, and by the 
one dark, yet passing shadow of a sudden tem- 
per. The painter, it is true, has etched without 
art, but every touch is a stroke of nature, and 
had you seen his figure, or heard his voice, 
while they were thus employed, you would 
swear to the whole drawing being an original. 
Indeed, to two originals, for he would have 
presented you with an admirable sketch both 
of the living and of the dead. I had abun- 
dant opportunity, before I left Houghton, to 
find, that the master and the man were given 
with equal fidelity of pencil : of this, I will 
offer some pleasing evidence, before we take 
our leave of this interesting spot. 

But I must allow you and myself a pause ; 
having just transcribed this letter at the Inn, 
from my pencilM minutes of friend Jarvis's 
discourse, which, I offer you as nearly as pos- 
sible, in his own words, and my landlady, 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 221 

Mrs. Kendal, assures me, she could swear to 
their being the words of neighbour Jarvis. 
They are, .however, those of an odd, but 
tender -hearted fellow, and I hope, he will 
recommend himself to the patronage of his 
new Lord. 



222 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 



LETTER XL 



HOUGH TON, August. 
PROCEED in my transcriptions from my 
penciled n*)te-book ; which, both at home and 
abroad, I have considered as the vehicle in 
which I place the unassorted ears I gather in 
the fields of observation ; a plan which has the 
advantage of collecting my -stores from the spots 
where they grew, and allows the opportunity of 
selecting and separating, winnowing and pre- 
serving, at more leisure, after my growing stock 
is housed. But, though I always, perform these 
several tasks to the best of my judgment, not 
only "before I carry the grain to the public 
market, but before I send my detached 
sheaves to you, my judicious friend, in the 
way of sample, I can no more promise you, 
that I do -not, from oversight, send you some- 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 223 

times a poppy with the corn, sometimes an idle 
weed with the balmy herbs, and sometimes a 
useless flower with the verdant loads, than the 
farmer can undertake to warrant his hay, or his. 
wheat free from a thistle, a weed, or a worm^ 
bite. Neither of us can do more than aver, 
that no pains are spared to prevent these inter- 
mixtures becoming objects of weight or con- 
sequence in the general bulk of our commodity ; 
and, as to myself, I may fairly be allowed to 
observe, that it has all along been, and will 
continue to be, my custom, to submit my 
gatherings to the inspection of some of our 
most approved judges in the quality of all 'sorts 
of literary grain, from th most golden ear of 
intellectual wheat, to the minutest blade of 
grass, and simplest flower in the abundant 
garden of nature, previously to my conveying 
them to you. Thus guided by their judg- 
ment in the first instance, and assisted, in the 
second, by yours, I think I may be permitted, 
in the language of our English merchants,, to 
" hope you will find the accounts correct, errors 
exccpted." 



224 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

Immediately on entering the chapel, Jarvis 
went hastily to the part of the aisle where the 
ashes of his master were deposited. " Here he 
lies. Sir Stranger," said he, pointing to the plain 
stone that covered the remains : " here he is 
I help'd to put him down with my own hands 
and mine were not the only tears that dropt 
upon his coffin as it was lowering : if it had 
been all night in the dew it could not well 
have been wetter. I don't often cry, but I did 
then like a beat baby and the thought on't 
often makes a child of old Jarvis still." It does 
honour to his memory, and to your own feelings 
at this moment., my good Jarvis, said I, per- 
ceiving his eyes were filling. " And here," 
cried Jarvis, " is the great Sir Robert there his 
first lady here his second and there Lord 
Horace and I put HIM in too." 

As I moved a few steps to inspect the marble 
of the latter, my foot slid insensibly on the 
stone sacred to Lord George " Don't tread 
upon him, Sir Gentleman," said Jarvis, sud- 
denly, but very gently plucking my coat 
" Its foolish enough, you'll say, but I never set 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 225 

foot on it myself if I can help it but then to 
be sure I was but his serving-man yet, I be 
always so bold to keep off strangers when I 
can ; and many's the douse I have given the 
Boys and girls, whose fathers and mothers he 
gave house and home to, whensomever I have 
seen them run and scuttle over it, as if it was 
the grave of one of my Lord's greyhounds ; 
or as if it held the bones of such a fellow as 
his humble servant, Jarvis." 

The most natural testimony of the speaker's 
full heart followed this expression. He bowed 
at every word he uttered of the last line, and it 
was precisely such a bend, both of the head 
and body, as a comparative sense of situations 
betwixt master and servant, excites in a grateful 
and respectful domestic : and I am convinced 
it was just the sort of reverence which Jarvis had 
often paid in the life-time of his Lord : for the 
features, the air, and the accent, of a dutiful 
adherent all harmoniously accorded. At the 
end of a very long pause which ensued, he 
shook his head, and in a sigh-retarded articu- 
lation, exclaimed " Little and great must all 

VOL. iv. Q 



226 XJLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

go, to be sure, but I wish I could have got 
cleverly at the speech of you before you .lost 
yourself. Lord George, just to have heard- you 
say Jarvis, I don't think any more of your 
sauce ! or that you could but know how I 
have mop'd about it since may be, though, 
you DO know it, for 'twill be a bad job for 
other folk's souls, if yours, Lord George, an't 
in heaven." The head continued shaking till 
the owner of it arrived at this consolatory close, 
when, seeming to be inspired with the cheering 
influence of the sentiment, he lifted up his 
drooping figure, and cried " 'Tis nothing but 
dust, Sir Stranger, that lies here, and a man loses 
his time in moaning thus for a heap of bones, 
which, to be sure, we are all born to be, gentle 
and simple, you and I ! So now let me tell 
you something about this fine old affair a little 
farther on:" 

He pointed to a stone coffin. " That, too, 
is a Walpole," added he ; " part, you see, 
broke : eleven years back I got a piece of his 
rib. He was taken up in Rrumsthorpe church- 
yard, and "brought here was one of the Nor- 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 22? 

wich bishops, with the date on his foot and 
that's all we know of him. Lookee, there are 
the 'scutcheons of our Orfords Sir Robert's and 
Lord George's and there is the last the scholar 
Lord's, not yet put up." 

And are there to be no other monuments 
erected to them ? 

"None, Sir Stranger.'* 

This intelligence interested my mind, and if 
I were not fearful of hazarding too bold a 
figure, should add, inspired my Muse. By 
her assistance at least on my return to Mrs. 
Kendal's, I finished from the note-marks, 
made as I repassed the park, the tributary lines 
which follow : 



ft 2 



.GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 



LEFT IN THE PARK CHAPEL 

OP 
HOUGHTON-HALLj NORFOLK, 

WHERE 

SIR RORERT WALPOLE, LORD GEORGE, 

AND HORATIO WALPOLE, 

ARE BURIED. 



LONG for three * favour'd Heirs of deathless fame, 
As many nations have confirm'd their claim ; 
And thrice three Muses all the sacred nine 
With lavish incense, have adorn'd the shrine : 
And shall not one of England's Bards be found, 
To mark with awful verse the holy ground, 
Where three of British birth, and high renown, 
All of one noble stock, and all our own, 
Enrich the Tomb ? the first, of skill profound 
The subtle polities of Man to sound, 
To trace his mazy nature to its source, 
pxplore his shallows, try his depth and force ; 



* Three Poets, in three distant age* born, &c. &c. 

DHYDEN'S EPITAPH on M'ILTOK, 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

And good as wise-^-the next let ev'ry art 
That faithful Nature aids, and ev'ry heart 
His bounty warm'd, in grateful sighs declare 
He felt for all the Poor a father's care, 
Taught the glad Horn of Plenty to expand, 
And pour'd a broader blessing o'er the land. 
Taste, learning, elegance, the last endear, 
And his least honour to have died a Peer. 



In the cold vault, shall these neglected He 
While pomp's vast pyramids assault the sky ? 
Yes, let those poor ones who have nought but birth, 
To mark they e'er had being here on earth, 
The marble blazon, tell, with vain parade, 
The scoffing world Here we proud worms are laid! 
But for the learn'd and wise, the brave and just, 
Weak is the column, feeble is the bust ; 
Superfluous ev'n the Muse! and yonder Hall, 
Its towers sublime, its solid base, shall fall ; 
While all that Virtue, all that Genius gave, 
Immortal powers ! shall triumph o'er the Grave : 
Their words, their works, their, deeds embalm THEM 

best, 
And REAR A MONUMENT IN EV'RY BREAST, 



230 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 



XtiTTER XII. 



HOUGHTON, AugUSt. 

JL HE good clerk was little disposed to 
break in upon the reflections that filled my 
mind, as he returned with me to the inn, being 
himself inclined to silent meditation : on re- 
joining him, however, after two or three con- 
vivial hours which he passed at the birth-day 
and audit feast, the quaint hilarity of his 
character, which opened our first views of him 
returned, and he was earnest to know if he 
could give me any farther pleasure. To ask 
this well-meant question, he came from the 
festive throng into the room where I had been 
throwing upon paper the verses which con- 
cluded my last letter. He had obviously dispel- 
led the gloom -collected at the chapel, where 
he bewailed the dead, and by some generous 
draughts, had since warmed his heart towards the 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

living. He now came with a hope I would not 
refuse to go into the Ibanquetting apartment tp 
drink the health of his Highness-ship, George 
Prince of Wales, the new master and mistress of 
Houghton, Lord and Lady Cholmondeley, and 
success to the sickle making a very respectful, 
though not quite correct, bow, for each of the 
objects thus to be toasted. Having promised 
this, I was proceeding to place my papers in a 
small ecritoire which is always my compagnon de 
voyage, when the page on which I had written 
the monumental verses falling on the floor, he 
picked it up with great respect, and said, as* 
he delivered it to me, he fancied, it was full of 
foetals. He instantly repeated, that it had 
pleased GOD, though he was a poor fellow, to 
give him a fairish understanding in the natural 
line, and that he had made a foetal or two 
himself : one on a famous dog of Lord George's, 
which beat every thing, both at SwarTham and 
Newmarket, and one the night Lord George 
was buried. I told him I would gladly ex- 
change with him on that subject, by reading 
my foetal to him, if he would read or repeat his 
1 



232 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

to me. " Yours then, Sir Stranger, first : my 
head is a little noncomposs'd at present." 

I then read to him what I had the pleasure 
to insert in my last letter ; and I dare say his 
poetals, which did not, however, return to his 
memory in time for me to see them, were not 
more curious than his criticals, which I received 
in the very words I will give them to you. 
Yet it is not in written, nor, indeed, in any 
oral, language, but his own, that I can express, 
or figure him. Though a little noncomposs'd, 
as he called it, that is, inspirited by circulating 
the jovial rounds to the healths of the Prince, 
the new Lords of Hbughton Hall, and success 
to the sickle, just enough to obliviate the gloom 
which the scene in the church had produced, 
the quaint gravity of his voice, and the innocent 
conceits of himself, mixed with his opinion of 
others, came to the exact point of being 
pleasant. One bumper too little, I have ob- 
served, will make an Englishman of this class, 
sullen, incommunicative, or rudely talkative, 
and one too much renders him insufferably 
loquacious; while the medium glass seems tq 
3 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 

invigorate his active, and excite his dormant 
good qualities, or talents, but drinking deep, 
or not drinking at all, discloses all that are bad 
and offensive, making him a downright saucy 
or sulky fellow. 

At friend Jar vis's desire I read the verses 
twice over, " because -po-etals" he said, " hit a 
poor man i' th' noddle, harder than prosals ; at 
first I can't so cleverly get at 'em." On the 
second reading he had comments for almost 
every couplet. Accept a few : 

" All of one noble stock, and $11 our own." 

Line 8. 

On telling him these applied to three of the 
Walpoles, he cried, " Sir Stranger, you are 
right, as to that poetal^-for they are all our 
own, sure enough but as you say, there were 
three times three of them Muses. I have met 
with, some of they in one of our books in the 
library, about the gods and goddesses ; though 
there was, as I thought, a pretty deal of deviltry 
in them, too -and as for the goddesses, I think 
a little whipping at the part's tail would have 



234 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 

been too good for most of they. I should be 
sorry to have . my old dame half as bad as 
the best of 'urn. By the bye," added he, 
^ c three times thre'e is just the rounds we have 
been making out of the jolly birth-bowl below, 
to his Highness-ship, and the other honourships, 
the founders of the feast, and I hope, Sir 
Gentleman, you will help us off with three 
times three rounds more when you have got 
through your poetals. So, pray, read on 
but don't hurry c Learning is better than 
house or land/ ay, or punch either." 
I smiled and proceeded : 

" The next, let ev'ry art 
That faithful nature aids, and ev'ry heart 
His bounty warm'd, in grateful sighs declare 
He felt for all the poor a father's care." 

Lines 13, 14, 15, 16. 

That, observed I, is designed as a tribute to 
the goodness of your noble- 

" Lord George," interposed the learned 
clerk, " you need not tell me that. Before 
I have done with you, please GOD, I'll shew 
you more of this, not only in printed book, but 






GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 235 

in other guess places, worth all the poetals that 
ever was yours, Sir Gentleman, into the bar- 
gain :" 

" Taste, learning, elegance, the last endear, 
And his least honour to have died a Peer." 

Lines 19, 20. 

" Died a Peer there you hit him/' quoth Jar- 
vis, " he was but an Honourable before a nation 
great foetal, though ; and a good Sir gentle- 
man, which is better. One of the sups of broth 
I used to take from the Hall kitchen to one of 
Lord George's poor bodies is worth all them 
devilcome gods, and goddesses too- muse ma- 
dams into the bargain. 

'< While pomp's vast pyramids assault the sky.'* 

Line 22. 

" PiradimsT' repeated the clerk, " ay, 
there you hit him again, Sir Stranger, but please 
GOD, I will know more about it by next 
Sunday, As you said, the poetals are to be 
left in my church" I had told him so " I'll 
have at them at bye-hours all the week for 
you may see I have a little meaning of these 
things in me but must not let 'em lie about to 



236 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 

be catch'd up every Sabbath by our Houghton- 
folk, who could no more make 'em out than 
the old Walpole in the stone coffin I shewed 

you except the steward Mrs. the 

housekeeper, and Mrs. Kendal, my landlady 
here below^ who has no bad gift at foetaJs 
herself." 

,*..l., f . >'( T^ * r ' J * ' "^JiT 

" And rear a rnonument in every breast." 

Last line, 

" I am sure/' exclaimed Jarvis, fervently, 
< f Lord George has one in mine ! ay, and I 
will have every word of the poetal here in my 
head, before my new lady comes, which is to 
be, in October ; and till then I will clap 'urn in 
my prayer-book, and the first Sunday morning- 
she comes to church they shall be laid on her 
ladyship's Pess, and I will tell her they were 
left for the family by a travelling poeter : and 
I'll tell her ladyship your name, Sir Stranger, if 
you like to say who you be," 

That is not necessary, but you may say, if 
you please, they were left by the Gleaner. 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 237 

" Very well, Mr. Gleaner, * and so I will 
and for that matter, about that time I shall 
be a Gleaner myself but first and foremost I 
shall be Mr. Harvester and by the same token 
only hear how they farmer-gentry in the par- 
lour, and we worky-folk In the kitchen, roar 
out the sickle-songs, as we call them enough 
to turn the heads of poor Mrs. Kendal, and her 
well-look' d daughter; but, as I said, harvest 
comes but once a year so, what say you, Sir 
Stranger ? huzza ! there they work it, huzza ! 



* I am here to mention the good Jarvis's disappointment, 
as it has been reported to me since these papers were sent to 
press. After preparing, rehearsing, and getting perfect in 
the eloquent speech with which the learned clerk was to 
introduce these verses, in the delivery of which he expected 
to divide, at least in equal proportions, the honours of the 
Bard after he had made himself as mellow in every syllable 
of them as in his amen, he unluckily mentioned the circum- 
stance to some of 'the head servants, who advised they might 
be given to my Lady before she went to church; upon 
which the learned clerk yielded them up to the groom of the 
chambers, without any .speech at ally for want of which all 
our honours, of course, came to nothing ; and it is not more 
probable that my friend the clerk has forgot his speech, than 
that the groom has forgot to deliver the verses, seeing they 
were as much out of his way as for old Jarvis to become 
running footman. 



238 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

a drop after your poetals, won't be amiss-*- 
huzza ! his Highness-ship for ever" 

The cheary echos, and choruss'd burthens 
from below, now had their full effect upon 
every muscle in the face, and, indeed, in every 
limb of my right learned clerk and commen- 
tator, and that I might not any longer detain 
him from joining the happy groupe, I delivered 
him the monumental lines, to be presented 
with " what flourish he might." And after 
putting them very cautiously in his pocket- 
book, between, as he said, two bans of 
marriage, and notice of a parish meeting for 
the next Sunday, I rose to accompany him 
down stairs ; where two as jovial crews had 
assembled as I ever had the delight to see 
happy: more especially, as is usually the case, 
those in the kitchen ; at the supreme presidency 
of which our learned clerk soon placed himself. 
They were gathered together in the inn facing 
trie old grand entrance, which was built by 
Sir Robert Walpole, and it may be fairly 
doubted, whether since the foundation of his 
splendid hall, or this his humble inn, there has 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

met, on any occasion, a set of more blissful 
beings. Amorous and agricultural songs were 
mixed, unclouded joy shook the loud note 
as from their heart of hearts, and the louder 
the sound, the truer the joy. 

" Home, celebrate Harvest-home," an old 
field ditty in great favour with the English pea- 
santry; was encored and re-encored with that 
vehemence of applause, which marks in a par- 
ticular manner, the labouring parts of mankind 
when loosed a little from toil to joy, which 
they describe by a mixture of ungovernable 
noises, from hands, feet, and voice. This is 
the point of time which opens the whole soul of 
this useful class of men ; throws hand into hand, 
heart into heart, and divides good-fellowship 
from drunkenness. It is a crisis when a lover 
of nature, and of his species, whatever might 
be the state of his own mind, unless his temper 
is harder than the severest misfortune, must 
" gather bliss to see his fellows bless'd" and at 
such a moment have I recently come, dear 
Baron, from viewing this care-free groupe of 
beings : every one of whom*, in the pauses from 



24O GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

drink/ dance and song, bore genuine evidence 
of the high and endearing qualities of the late 
and present possessors of Houghton-Hall. The 
groundless fears of some of the domestics,, from 
the apprehension that old adherents of the family 
would be dismissed to make way for new the 
goodness of their new Lord in continuing the 
generous custom of their Lord to receive, for 
the rent of each house in Houghton- Village, a 
shilling instead of a guinea the school bounty, 
and establishment instituted by Lady Cholmon- * 
deley, for poor male and female children with 
their pretty uniform dresses, in preparation for 
the day on which they are first to have the 
honour of appearing before their patroness 
these, and various otheit records of the existing 
chanties and benevolencies were all poured 
forth, with tones, and with looks, that ratified 
the intelligence. It was AN HONEST MOMENT ; 
and a spectator might securely have given in 
to the court of humanity every syllable of the 
evidence on oath : and it will make your heart 
glow, my friend, as it has already done mine. 

! 

Would you had been at my side to have shared 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 241 

it : alas ! many an hour must intervene before 
even this imperfect report reaches you ; and 
then it will be but as a fair but faint shadow of 
the living pleasure I have tasted ; but its coun- 
terpart will wait your coming. On every genial 
return of the year, you may enjoy the sub- 
stance, either at the place from which I am now 
writing, or at some other, Thus the felicity of our 
peasantry, and the liberality of our Nobles, are 
not merely local; those who bless, and those who 
are blessed are widely diffused. You will meet 
with heart-touching instances of both ; and 
while nature groans, and philanthropy is bleed- 
ing in almost every other land, and those 
amongst us who have never as alas ! we too - 
often have, my friend, heard those groans, or 
seen that blood, raise the voice of discontent, 
you will be convinced that' we may proudly 
say, that 'the poorest subject of the realm of 
England, amidst all- our foes, abroad and at 
home all our political evils, or religious 
errors and I not only confess, but will dis- 
cover to you many of each our very day-la- 
bourers, our children of the plough and of the 



242 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

flail nay, even those who, literally, can neither 
toil nor spin, our children of age, of infirmity, 
and of misfortune, are better secured in their 
domestic enjoyment in the dear and fertile 
land whereon they live, in their morsels of 
property upon it in their sickness and their 
sorrows better consoled and administered to, 
than either the rich or poor in any other coun- 
try of the globe.* 

You will more than forgive, my friend, you 
will welcome these patriot effusions of a heart, 
which, though it feels an enlarged wish for the 
happiness of mankind, more affectionately beats 
to Britain ; not, simply, because it is 

" Link'd to that heart, by ties for ever dear ;" 



* This great truth is beautifully touched by one on the 
long list of our illustrious female living writers : of whom, 
you will expect to hear more in their place. 

" that lov'd isle 

Where freedom long has shed her genial smile. 

Less safe, in other hands, the triple wall, 

And massy portal of the gothic Hall, 

Than in that favoured isle the straw-built thatch, 

Where Freedom sits, and guards the simple latch." 

HELEN MARIA WILLIAMS*, 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 4# 

but, because/ having had various opportunities 
of seeing, and residing in many other popular 
countries/ and making on each comparative 
observations^ not th6se of an enthusiast or of a 
bigot, but of a slow, patient, and pausing ex- 
perimentalist, I must again, and as often as every 1 
fresh cause offers, pronounce England, with all 
its' imperfections on its head, THE UNRIVALLED 
COUNTRY. I will venture to add, no mari 'that 
has at any time been, or that now * is within 
the shelter of its protecting arms, has ef seen 
its like." 

Nor have I ever yet conversed with a tra- 
velled person-, or read a travelled Authour 
supposing him to have possessed the degree 
of health which fairly tints every object, who 
has hot been of this opinion- whatever liis 
character whatever be his country. The 
rule, therefore, is, I am persuaded, general : 
arid I cannot allow, as exceptions^ those* 



* You will perratt your Correspondent, as you have the 
book, to refer you to an " Ode on the Benevolence of 
England," in the first volume of his former Gleanings, 

R2 



244 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

ephemera who fly from one clime to an- 
other,- with the idle and undetermined course 
of a butterfly, and who, if you will permit me 
the use of a facetious expression, are as com- 
pletely ignorant of the real good which a 
country contains, as a cat or monkey running 
over a harpsichord is of the use of the keys ; 
from a skilful touch of which, even were it an 
indifferent instrument, the true artist would 
bring sortie sweet sounds. 

P. S. You will more than accept, you will 
welcome, a brilliant passage from an animated 
foreigner, who, while he confirms, illustrates, 
the exulting assertions of the foregoing letter ; 
assertions, my friend, which, on so many dif- 
ferent occasions I already have been, and, I 
trust, shall again, be called upon, in the cha- 
racter of a faithful delineator, an intrepid 
defender of my country,- to maintain. And so 
firmly do I feel myself standing on this ground,, 
that I am ready to meet whatever wit, elo- 
quence, ambition, ' ridicule, or enmity could 
oppose to the unadorned, the almost naked 

arms of truth. 

. . 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 245 

MALLET DU PAN, and the reputation that is 
associated with him, cannot be unknown to you. 
This slight mention of his name will bring him 
to your mind, as the indefatigable and ingenious 
opposer of anarchy, and the French Directory; 
a native, I believe, of Switzerland, that stu- 
pendous and romantic country with which you 
are so enamoured, and justly, whether it be con- 
sidered topographically or intellectually. He left 
Switzerland just in time to escape the requisition, 
made by the five new despots of Paris to their 
Helvetic dependants, to deliver up every man 
of genius who was their adversary. Soon after 
his arrival in the country where every man of 
every nation is safe, and where all genius is 
honoured and rewarded, he published the pro- 
spectus of a work, called ," Mercure Brit an- 
nique" with the avowed purpose of being the 
public accuser of the French Directory, and 
vigilant detector of all their falsehoods and 
fabrications. He has kept his word; began, 
and has continued every fortnight an animated 
commentary on the conduct of France, and 
the other powers of Europe, including a 

i 



246" GLEANING-S IN ENGLAND. 

. f . ; 

general and accurate history of the times, 
and drawing the characters of the chief actors 

['"'/"Oil- '\$j-:'i ' 

in the hurly-burly of this amazing scene. His 
book will be a most valuable source to the 
future historian, and I arn happy to inform you 
that my countrymen have shewn themselves 
sensible of the merit of such a writer. You 
will find a copy of his work, so far as it has 
proceeded, in the literary packet I am preparing 
for the first safe opportunity. In the mean 
time, the passage I have promised, and which 
will be recommendatory of the rest, shall now 
be transcribed : 

" J'ai laisse le Continent, persuade que TAn- 
gleterre touchoit a sa perte, & que la France 
alloit r.engloutir dans ses chaloupes canonnieres. 
Les plus courageux, en lui accordant la possi- 
bilite d'une resistance exterieure, la livroient 
aux fleaux d'une revolution interne : Tun 
gemissoit sur la ruine de son commerce, 1'autre 
sur celle de ses finances ; & si Ton admiroit son 
heroisme, on en plaignoit Tinutilite. 

" Quelle surprise d'observer, en debarquant," 
que la guerre la plus terrible ^ laquelle aucun 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 247 

empire ait etc expose, produit mille fois moins 
de risques, de trouble, de tristesse, & de 
crainte, que les charmes de la paix dans 
lesquels se bercent en frissonnant tons les 
concurrens a la Concorde avec la Republique 
Franchise ! 

" C'est avec 80O yaisseaux de guerre, 150 
mille matelots, trois cent mille hommes sous 
les armes, 50 millions sterling verses annuelle- 
ment, par le patriotisme, 1'opulence & la 
liberalite publique, dans la balance des res- 
sources; c'est avec des victoires periodiques, 
dont les annales de la marine d'aucun peuple 
n'avoit encore presente Teclat; c'est en affer- 
missant tous les ancres d'une admirable con- 
stitution, ^ mesure que Fennemi tente de les 
soulever, que TAngleterre attend sans crainte 
comme sans impatience, Tissue de ses dangers. 

" Lorsqu'on voit des flottes innombrables 
apporter a TAngleterre les tributs de 1'univers, 
&: renouveller sans interruption la richesse na- 
tionale, sous la protection d'une force navale 
devant laquelle les Francois osent a peine 
aujourd 'hui hasarder quelques pirates; lorsqu'on 



248 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

contemple ces merveilles d'industrie,, de travail^ 
& d'activite, toutes les sources cPopulence & de 
grandeur maintenues & augmentees, a cote des 
obstructions^ de la langueur, du decourage- 
ment, des desastres,, qui ont mine depuis six 
ans le commerce & la richesse . des nations les. 
plus fiorissantes ; lorsque de Londres aux mon- 
tagnes d'Ecosse, du trone a la chaumitre^ du 
parlement a la plus chetive municipalite, dans 
les comptoirs comme dans leg palais, chez }e 
citadin le plus obscur comme chez le pair de la 
Grande Bretagne, on observe un sentiment & 
un devouement uniformes ; tant de lumieres 
unies a un attachernent si enthousiaste a la 
patrie & a ses loix,, un accord si heureux entre le 
gouvernement & la nation,, & toutes les con- 
ditions en harmonic, repousser d'un commun 
effort le feroce etranger qui menace leur liberte 
& leur. bonheur, on s'agenouille devant la Pro- 
vidence qui transmet cette Iec 3 on vivante. a tous 
les peuples, comme un Phare de secours & de 
preservation." * 

* It will gratify your eager desire of attaining a yet 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 249 

I left the continent under an apprehension 
that England was on the brink of ruin, and 



greater knowledge of the powers of the English Tonguej, to 
read a liberal translation of the above into bur language, 
whereby you will have a fair opportunity of perceiving the 
possibility of retaining the spirit) without licentiously de- 
serting the letter of a bold and glowing original. The 
examples, certainly, bear no proportion to the defects of trans- 
lation, as our translated Books, like our own Books translated, 
generally give you the shadow for the substance, and that a 
dark shadow : the figure, frequently a graceful one, mutilated, 
dismembered, mangled, and the soul wholly left out. It is 
not often, indeed, that a man who has any force in himself, 
any intellectual energies of his own, can be prevailed upon 
to undertake the comparatively humble office of translation ; 
it gives a man of original talents something like volunteering 
his own dependence ; it is a sublime painter submitting to 
copy from a foreign artist, instead of employing his pencil 
in drawing from the rich scenery in his own mind, supplied 
only by nature and art, under her controul, whether the 
stores are found in one country or another. The consequence 
is inevitable. We have either poor imitations of poor ori- 
ginals, whereby nonsense at second hand is exported and 
imported, backwards and forwards, in a most unprofitable 
barter ! or what is yet worse, the legitimate offspring of 
genius and wit are forced to cross the ocean, to be stript on 
their landing of their native ornaments, to be defaced, " cur- 
tailed of their fair proportions," and exposed in that condition 
a public spectacle ! they are then left, like bleeding and 
jnuch-injured ghosts, to wander unsoothed, unnoticed round 
m alien shore, or flit indignant back to their native soil. 



25O GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

that France with her gun-boats was going to 
complete her destruction. The most confident, 



But when there is a just measure and due proportion of 
genius and ability between an original Author and his Tran- 
slator ; when their minds are in a kind of sympathy, and 
their subject is as dignified as important, they invigorate and 
add a lustre to each other. One such writer finds himself 
described and pourtrayed by another without having previ- 
ously communicated. They were created counterparts. 
They meet at once as friends, and with a kindred sort of 
delight diffuse each other through the world. Hence, a 
Virgil and Homer, have to boast a Dryden and Pope, and 
in all such instances the original and the translation travel 
down the stream of Time together, and by changing a single 
word, may be compared to 

" The sweet breezes of the South, 

Receiving, and giving odour ; 

At once indebted and discharg'd.*' 

MALLET DU PAN and the British public, are to be felici- 
tated on the " Mercure Britanntque," having found such a 
Translator as Mr. DALLAS,* of whose ability, to do justice to 
his .original, though the subsequent passage is no unfavour- 
able specimen, yet a true judgment can be formed only by 

* The English public are already indebted to this Gentleman, for 
giving it a translation of Mr. CLERY'S Memoirs of the Prison Hiitory of 
the unhappy Royal Family of France while confined and persecuted in 
the Temple j and the characteristics of Mr. C.'s publication, simplicity 
and pathos, in the detail of the abhorrent facts, are faithfully preserved 
by the Tradatteur. To the same pen, we likewise owe works of original 
and independent merit. 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 254 

allowing her the possibility of an exterior resist- 
ance, gave her up to the scourges of an internal 
revolution: one be wailed the destruction of hef 
commerce, another that of her finances; and 
when her heroism was admired, the inutility of 
it was lamented. 

" How was I surprised on landing, to End 
that a war, the most terrible that any Empire 
was ever exposed to, produces a thousand times 
less risk, trouble, sadness and fear, than the 
charms of Peace, in which all the competitors 
for concord with the French Republic rock 
themselves and tremble ! 

" It is with 80O ships of war, 1 50,000 sea- 
men, 300,000 men under arms, 50,000,000 
sterling annually poured by public patriotism, 
opulence and liberality, into the scale of re- 
sources; it is with periodical victories, the 
brilliancy of which has never yet been equalled 
in the naval annals of any nation,; it is in 



an opportunity to peruse the whole, and such opportunity, I 
propose to give you, by letting the estimable translation 
accompany, as it ought, the valuable original* , 

1 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

securing all the anchors of the admirable con-i 
stitution the more, the more the enemy tries to 

1 remove them,, that England waits without fear 

-and without impatience the issue of her dangers. 

- " When we see innumerable fleets bearing 

the tributes of the whole world to England, 

and without interruption renewing the national 
wealth/ under the protection of a naval force, 
before which the French scarcely dare now to 
-venture a few pirates ; when we compare those 
wonders of industry, labour and activity, all 
the sources of opulence and grandeur maintained 
and increased, with the obstructions, languor, 
discouragements and disasters, which have 
ruined for six years past the commerce and 
wealth of the most flourishing nations ; when 
-from London to the Highlands of Scotland, 
from the Throne to the Cottage, from the Par- 
liament- to the pettiest Borough, in Counting- 
houses as well as in Palaces, at the obscurest 
citizen's as at the peer's, we observe a uniform 
.sentiment and zeal, so much knowledge united 
,to so enthusiastic an attachment to the country 

and its laws, so happy an agreement between 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 253 

the Government and the Nation, and all ranks 
and degrees in harmony conspiring to repel the 
ferocious stranger who menaces their liberty and 
their happiness, we fall on our knees before 
Providence, who gives this living lesson to all 
nations as a watch-tower of help and preser- 



vation," 






254 GLEANINGS IX ENGLAND. 



LETTER XIII. 



HOUGHTON. 

W ITH assenting heart, I joined in the 
harmless merriment of these humble children of 
nature, and after the cheap dedication I will 
not .call it sacrifice of a single half hour to 
their festivities, I withdrew, amidst their bless- 
ings, to my chamber, where, having transcribed 
the impressions I had received, I took my walk 
of contemplation in the park, under favour of 
the Harvest-moon, in one of the most balmy- 
breathing evenings I have ever known in Eng- 
land. I repassed every object which I had 
visited in the morning ; but partly from- the . 
accession of interest they had gained by the 
various circumstances and reflections that had 
since taken place, and partly from the new and 
more benign aspect they assumed, from the 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 255 

mild influence of that orb, which softens 
every thing within reach of her beams, my 
satisfaction seemed not so much a repetition 
as an improvement. The gentle night-breeze 
that whispered amongst the branches the 
majestic foliage, whose canopy half admitted 
^nd half excluded the moon-ray, which broke 
into fairy and playful shadows at my feet the 
timid steps of the deer, as they tripped before 
me the attempered magnificence, yet. height- 
ened magic, of the Hall where the illustrious 
persons who had supplied my heart with so 
many impressive circumstances, both within 
and without the mansion, arid the lunar survey 
of that church, in which the ashes of those 
persons reposed, combined to produce that 
feeling of the mind which is the most solemn, 
and, perhaps, the most salutary. To the farthest 
extent of the scene within sight of the eye, of 
hearing of the ear, every thing, for even the 
zephyr seemed to slumber for a time, became 
as still as the silent portraits of the family in the 
house, or the dust of the originals over which 
J had paused in the church. 



256 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND 

Going up close to one of the Gothic windows 
I looked into the church, and, aided by the 
moon, saw the flat marbles under which the 
Walpoles were buried as distinctly as by day, 
and in a more awful point of view. Of the 
Prime Minister and the Poet, what then re- 
mained,- my dear Baron, that could give them 
" form and pressure" in the mind of a meditative 
traveller, but the image of the virtues and 
talents they were known to possess in their days 
of nature, and which that mind appreciated ? 
Truly may I answer, the rest " was leather and 
prunella:" their titles, their' wealthy their 
honours, the loud applauses of the senate, and 
the softer voice of the Muses were lighter than 
the dust of their crumbling bones, in the scale 
of reflection. 

Yet a few years, thought I, and the whole 
of those merry-hearted groupes whom I have 
just left in a happiness, high, perhaps, as 
mortals can taste, from the strong and mingled 
emotions of simplicity, vivid spirits, animated 
by unusual auxiliaries, and a respite from labour, 
yet a few years, and these, with all the myriads 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 257 

.that at this moment wake or sleep on the bosom 
of the earth, shall,, like the tenants of that cold 
spot, be covered in its bowels. My face was still 
pressed to the casement, and my eye, intently 
directed to the part of the aisle which Jarvis 
had shewn me, could not have gazecj more 
earnestly, had I expected that the tombs would 
have yielded to me their dead. It is certain I 
formed no such notion ; neither is my imagina- 
tion sufficiently creative to embody my own 
thoughts and fears; shaping them into skele- 
tons, or throwing over them the customary 
winding-sheet of the- common people, nor their 
long crape veil and satin manteau; no, nor 
the coats of mail, nor any other of the prescrip- 
tive drapery of the dramatic poets:, though, 
in this case, it would have been dressing them 
more in character to have given Horace the 
Bard's velvet-cap and loosened shirt-collar, and 
Sir Robert the robes of a Peer of England. 
Indeed, a very slight dash of superstition, 
might have helped me tp work up as well- 
accoutred a pair of sprites as have lately appeared 
either in print or on the stage. 
VOL. iv. S 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

As I stood to view the effect of the moon- 
light on the four lofty cupolas of Houghton, 
and on the desolated wing of the building 
which had been destroyed by fire, and was yet 
black from the flame, the wonders of Otranto 
passed across my mind, assimilating, in some 
degree, with the imagery around me; and I 
should have had as good a shadow * of proba- 
bility in seeming to see the author of that awe- 
exciting romance, rise before me with a magici- 
an's wand in his hand, as any of the literary 
conjurers, in my country or in yours ; and the 
influence of a Prime Minister of State, being,, 
in the opinion of many, more potent than any 
other magician, there would have been at least 
as strong reason to support me, had I fancied 
'Sir Robert moving before me in the plenitude 
of power with more than the -enchantments of 
Prospero. 

But I Was not wrought up to fancy any of 
these preternatural visions, yet if such appear- 



cm 



Forgive the equivoque on the word 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

arices had really been permitted, this was, 
methought, a moment in which: my mind 
would have been best fitted to receive and to 
welcome them, had they taken any shape in 
which they could have 'been recognized. I 
became interested and even affected, by the 
varieties of light and shade that the sweet planet 
over my head had given*to the objects ; when 
walking a few paces backward, to survey the 
exterior of this picturesque little edifice of 
public worship, somewhat of a hard-breathed 
sigh aroused my attention : the sudden move- 
ment of a light step, several times repeated, 
increased the alarm. There came over me, a 
kind of chilling sensation, which, it is probable, 
even heroes have felt on hearing unexpected 
sounds after a ghost-story, while alone and in 

the night; and though the foot-steps were now 

. 

close behind me, I had not resolution to turn 
round to see from what or whom they pro- 
ceeded: I shifted ground a little more to the 
other side of the church, and the instant I 
did so, I felt the skirt of my coat forcibly 
struck ; a hurried movement succeeded. This 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

impelled me to press yet more round to trie 
back of the building, where I remained still 
and silent, and with a palpitating breast, till I 
found every thing else so. I was beginning to 
recede, when the moon shone on two large 
dark eyes staring full in my face ! 

Believe me, I shall henceforth the less 
\voncler, at the force of imagination in 
others, under the influence of certain fears, 
against which no courage can stand prepared. 
It was not immediately I could perceive, that 
over those eyes grew a pair of lofty antlers, 
the property of one of the Houghton Bucks, 
and who had^got, like myself,' by stealth into 
the church-yard. The long-drawn sigh.,, heard 
at first, was but the natural consequence of the 
-poor animal's respiration in a comfortable nap, 
and the quick motion which followed, merely 
the natural effect of my own retrograde steps, 
as they approximated the sod he had chosen 
for his bed, and being abruptly driven out of 
it. ' Thus it is, my friend, that, not only con- 
science, but FANCY 



G;LEANINCrS IN EN&LAXD,, 

" doth make cowards of us all, 

And thus the native hue of Resolution 
Is sicklied o'er by the pale cast of FEAR." 

It is probable that were most of th-e ghostly 
terrours which have so long haunted men's ima- 
ginations, to be traced from their effects to their 
causes, they would be as humanly accounted 
for as the apparition of the poor Buck in 
Houghton church-yard. 

Yet the mind, circumstanced as mine then 
was, does not vry readily recover its poise. 
Both at the cause and effect we smile long be- 
fore we have resumed ourselves. The harmless 
creature that occasioned my late apprehensions, 
seemed to watch the opportunity which my 
opening the church-gate afforded him, of escap- 
ing from himself and joining the herd. I saw 
him run eagerly to some of his companions, 
and I have not a doubt but he made them as 
well acquainted with the adventure and with 
the alarm I had put him to, in his language, 
as I have explained it to you in mine. I will 
venture to speak yet more positively as to the 
consolation I am sure he received from their 



2(D2 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

Society. I felt that my consolements must be 
derived from a similar source I had., indeed,, 
no friends,, to whose bosoms I could resort for 
immediate relief ; but,, blessed be the medium 
through which our joys and griefs can be com- 
municated from heart to heart, and receive 
returns of sympathy, though separated by dis- 
tant shores, and though vast gulphs roll be- 
tween them ! I could hasten to my ff local 
habitation" at the KirigVhead, and relieve my 
Self, as I have now done, by addressing 
Baron de 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND* 



LETTER 



HOUGHTON, 

XT will interest you to read whatever can 
be collected to the posthumous honour of a 
nobleman whose life was distinguished by so 
many works of practical benevolence. I will 
not, therefore, deny either you or myself the 
pleasure of communicating a liberal and judi- 
icious review of his general character, from a 
gentleman who was well acquainted with the 
valuable qualities that formed it. 

Such an example of active patronage in the 
agriculture of an extensive county, added to 
so much unvaunted private bounty, cannot be 
too widely diffused, nor too closely emulated. 
It is, indeed, of more importance to society, 
and goes nearer to the heart than all the 
catalogues and 'criticisms of pictures and paint- 
ings, whether modern or antique, from the 



264 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

imperial palace where the pictorial treasures of 
Jioughton Hall are now transferred, to the 
dismantled gallery of Duzzeldorf, thence to 
dismantled Italy, onward to their present revo- 
lutionary depositories in Paris. Such a cultiva- 
tor of his native land, and such a protector of 
the useful peasantry that render it productive, 
under his encouraging auspices, gives to the 
part of the earth intrusted to his care, a now 
face, to nature a richer form, and teaches 
wealth and industry their wisest lesson. 

The public papers that have announced the 
death of Lord Orford have recorded the ancestry 
from which he was descended, the heirs of his 
honours, and the inheritors of his wealth, and 
have dwelt upon the titles that are extinct or 
devolved, together with all the posts and em- 
ployments that are vacant. To me be the 
melancholy duty, says the author* of this 
tribute, of noting what is of much more mo- 
ment than the descent of peerage, or the 



* Arthur Young, Esq. 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 2(J5 

transfer of an estate the loss of an animated 
improver; of one who gave importance to 
cultivation by a thorough knowledge of political 
oeconomy ; and who bent all his endeavours 
towards making mankind happy,, by seconding 
the pursuits of the farmer, and the inquiries of 
the experimentalist : I leave the lieutenancy of 
a county,, the rangership of a park, and the 
honours of the bedchamber, to those in whose 
eyes such baiibles are respectable, I would 
rather dwell on the merit of the first importer of 
South-down sheep into Norfolk ; on the merit 
of sending to the most distant regions for breeds 
pf animals represented as useful, not, indeed, 
always with success, but never without liberality 
in the motive ; on the patron and friend of the 
common farmer, not the lord of a little circle 
of tenants, but the general and diffusive 
encourage? of every species of agricultural 
improvement, nor did he associate with useful 
men because he was not qualified for the com- 
pany of higher classes, for his mind was 
fraught with a great extent of knowledge ; it 
was decorated by no trivial stores of classical 



266 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 

learning, which carried and set off the powers of 
' a brilliant imagination, and thus qualified alike 
for a court., or an academy of science, he felt no 
degradation in attending to the plough. 

There were, it is said> strong peculiarities, 
and some shades in this estimable character: 
but they have so little to do, with the real and 
general good to be educed from the parts 
above stated, that you will excuse my officiously 
gathering them up to send them into Ger- 
many, or extend their circulation in England; 
Much less shall I allow myself to dwell on the 
circumstances which clouded several years of 
his valuable life, and which grew, alas ! more 
and more dark till they brought on the gloomy 
catastrophe of his death. Be it sufficient to 
say, that in that event, the British farmer was 
deprived of a wise instructor, the labourer of a 
generous friend, the county of Norfolk of a 
protector, and England of a real patriot, with- 
out any of the obtrusive claims, and noisy 
pretences to patriotism a word as little under- 
stood, and as much abused, perhaps, in alj, 
countries, as any in language.. 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND.- 

To the above meritorious nobleman, it has 
been already observed to you that our celebrated 
Horace Walpole, the youngest son of Sir 
Robert, and uncle to Lord George, succeeded. 
It has been said very truly, that his Royal and 
Noble Authors, and Historic Doubts, sufficiently 
prove his excellence as an English antiquary, 
and how much the most dull and dry subjects 
in the hands o a man of genius, may be 
tendered interesting and amusing. His lighter 
works are all marked by an easy elegance of 
Style, a playfulness of imagination, and a deli- 
cacy of wit, of which kind of writing* he first 
get the example in England, as Voltaire some 
years before had done in France. His Lordship 



> ' $2$ 

.* I will not add to the volumes written on the 
charges brought against his Lordship, respecting his con* 
duct to 

* ( The boy whom once patrician pens adorned, 
w First meanly flatter'd, then as meanly scorn'd 5" 

because too much has already been said on that subject ; and, 
perhaps, too little proved, either in accusation or defence. 
But the lovers of true genius will never cease to deplore the 
untimely loss of Chatterton. 
2 



263 GLEANINGS IX ENGLAND. 

dying in the 80th year of his age, March 2, 
1797., the earl Cholmondeley came into pos- 
session of the Houghton estate, the 20th of 
the same month, and it could not have de- 
volved into more worthy hands. 

Houghton village consists of a single street of 
neat brick buildings, uniform both within and 
without : it was erected by Sir Robert for his 
own appropriate little tenantry and poor. From 
forty to fifty families of this description have 
here comfortable homes, with various indulgent 
privileges attached, and for which, that it may 
not altogether have the air of a bounty, they are 
rated for room-rent r at an annual guinea, which 
has, for a time long past, been received in full 
by a yearly shilling ; a mode of payment con^ 
tinued by the present noble proprietor of the 
town. I have conversed with several of the 
inhabitants, sat down in their cottages, heard 
their tales of satisfaction, and seeing them all 
happy, am myself the happier. It has, indeed, 
been a sincere joy to me this morning, to observe 
not only those who had gaily yielded to the 
brief respite of their toils last night, but ^ 



GLEAXIXGS ix 



269 



numerous band of others, young and old, the 
garrulous Jarvis at their head, each crowned 
with a sickle, going with willing hearts, and 
therefore more able hands, to begin that harvest, 
which a few hours ago I had heard them so 
gleefully anticipate. I saw them gather into 
jovial rings the length of their street, three 
deep, the centre formed by the men, the top 
part by the women,, and that nearest the road 
by the park paling, which is their boundary, 
gave space for the children. Three merry and 
heart-sent huzzas were given, and then, quitting 
hands, they all started together for the field, 
as if they were rushing to their pastime. 

Happy, harmless beings ! we commiserate, my 
friend, those whom we should .gratulate, and 
measure the sum of felicity, not by the healthful 
labour of others,, but by our own dispiriting in- 
dolence. I was up with the sun to witness this 
preparation for hard work. The face of that sun, 
though he had risen in splendour, looked not 
more joyous than did the blithe and rosy coun- 
tenances he shone upon. To a man of your 
unsophisticated feeling to any man who ha? 



27-O GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 

a heart, and loves his kind it was a sight 
worth a journey from your German Chateau, 
to the spot in England where scarce two hours 
ago it delighted your friend. 

In what spirits did it not send me back to 
my little inn ! and what a zest has it given to 
my pleasant breakfast ; which, instead of taking 
alone in the room where I had at first ordered 
it, mixed me with mine hostess and her family 
in her own bar parlour. A scene of sadness 
would have sent me pining into the solitude of 
my chamber, for I derive little solace from 
making others as- wretched as myself, when the 
division of pain is the only good to be expected 
from its communication. But in joy ! in. the 
fulness of happy feelings, not to seek, and even 
throw oneself in the way of any human creature 
that has enough of heart to share it, unites folly 
to avarice. It hoards the treasure which would 
Accumulate by circulation. 

And mine hostess lias a heart, and her fair 
daughter another. I described what I had 
heard and seen ; a tale of glee and good humour 
seldom wants a well-natured hearer, and all was 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

", 

as it should be. I had ordered my horse, when 
I found, all at once, that mine hostess was a 
poet ; Whilom she had sung, *a famous cour- 
sing match, in Houghton-park : 

" When Catch was deem'd the swiftest dog that run, 
" By whom, of course, the ladle then was won." 

And those were two of her verses, which, for 
aught I know, merit the prize as well as the 
greyhoundst Yea, and her Muse had mourned, 
if not amid the inspirings of poesy, in the 
simplicity of truth, which is better, the death 
of Lord George : 

" When .his just soul on heavenly gales had flown 
" To regions where no human ills are known, 
" Where ev'ry scene does endless pleasures prove, 
** And all is rapture, harmony and love." 

Moreover a song of her own composing was 
amongst the joyous tributes of yesterday's con- 
viviality, and the poet-hostess herself has 
furnished me with a stanza, by which you may 
judge of the rest ; 



272 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

" Come, let us all agree, 
Ami join most cheerfully, 

This day' to pass ; ' , . 

In honour of our new Peer, 
May we thus every year 

Push round the glass*" 

No bad wish, you will say, for an inn-keeper : 
but I am satisfied the author had no more idea 
of self-love, or self-interest while she wrote, 
than had the merry mortals who sung and re- 
sung her strain. Whoever could enter into the 
sentiment, I will be sworn would have been wel- 
come to the most exhilarating accompaniments 
of her cellar. And as for criticism upon the 
poetry, the Cynic whose brow could have 
wrinkled at the humble efforts of a self-taught, 
happy being, in the momentary overflowings of 
her gratitude, ought never to smile agai^ or 
have cause to smile. 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 273 



LETTER 



ROAD SIDE, between 
HOUGHTON and FAKENHAM. 

APTETI you have passed the boundary of 
Houghton plantations,, you will meet nothing 
to win attention from reflections on the past, 
till you reach FAKENH AM ; if, peradventure, 
you do not immediately direct your steps to 
HOLKHAM : unless, indeed, you should be in- 
duced to pass a few minutes at the outskirt of 
the village of East Rudham, and there converse 
with my poor ANTHONY FLOWER, the old man 
of the gate. 

Thirty and seven years has this veteran sat, 
as he told me, in the capacity of clerk under 
the minister, and, every Sabbath-day sits under 
him still ; " because the minister, Sir," says he, 
*' will not part with me, and because we have- 

VOL. IV. T 



2/4 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 

gotten into years together." (I am using 
Anthony's words,) " GOD be bless'd ! I can say 
Amen still, and, except now and then, in the 
right places ; and when I don't so cleverly hit 
it ofFJ as I us'd to do, master gives me a nudge, 
and I am almost sure to have it next time." 

He told me, moreover, that the minister has 
a fine voice, and always marks the closing 
words of a prayer with more force, to serve as 
a cue to the clerk. Anthony has kept a gate, 
which you will find at the end of the town, 
upwards of seven years ; in Winter he pulls it 
-open to the passengers from a mossed hut, 
which seems a part of himself; in summer, 
from the bank, where the sods are formed into 
a pleasant seat, and where he can feel that 
cordial of -age, the nourishment of the sun. 

* 

He was born in the year eleven ; and though 
now demi-deaf, and more than demi-blind > 
for he is almost in total darkness- he contrives 
to carry on his double duties as usual : " Yes 
thank. GOD old master still likes to have me 
f ottering about him, Sir," said Anthony, " and, 
I fancy, he would miss me of a Sabbath, if he 



GLEANINGS IX ENGLAND- 275 

did not see me, as much as all of the parish 
would his discourse for he's a fine discourser, 
and practises as well. Ay, and I should miss 
him as much if I did not hear him ; and I have 
often said, if any body else should sit under 
him, and take away my Amen while I can call 
it, it would go hard with me. I am a poor 
man, to be sure, Sir, but I had rather throw 
myself wholly on my gate-gettings, than lose 
my seat under my minister, though I should 
not get a farthing for doing it." 

But is it not difficult for you to get either to 
your gate or your pew, Anthony ? questioned I. 

" No ;" he answered, " not so much as I 
might think. 'Tis true, he was getting feebler 
and feebler every day, and he could not do a 
sort himself : but his town-folk were very good 
natur'd to him, because he never did harm to 
any of them, but now and then, times are 
gone, a good turn : his little grand- daughter, 
every night at sun-set, led him from 'his 
gate to the village : his wife, though, to be 
sure, be-crippled, always made shift, hitherto, 
to ring his Sabbath, and his burial bells 
T 2 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

to chime in and to chime out his little 
grand-daughter would- shoot up soon, and be 
able to do more for him in a year or two if it 
should please GOD to let him live so long 
but as he did not like to take up her time now, 
as he lov'd her, and paid for her schooling, he 
gave her every twelfth halfpenny he got at his 
gate ; and as she was a very good, pretty-like- 
looking girl, he wished to give her some 
learning ; so got one neighbour or another, as 
he went to work, to help him to his gate. 
" I was always up betimes, Sir," added An- 
thony, " and in my young years as stirring as 
any of them. Why, for a sort of years I was a 
carrier, and walked twice a week by the side of 
my cart for I was almost too proud, with such 
a pair of legs under me, to ride from Lynn, 
Rudham, and other places, to Norwich, and 
back again as well, and as to wrestling, single- 
sticking, and such like,- few could match 

ANTHONY FLOWER." 

\ 

The remains of this man moved at once my 
pity and my reverence : the frame which is now 
bowed with, literally, the weight of years, must 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 277 

once have measured to the proudest standard of 
what we call the hero a chosen figure for the 
field of battle and his limbs, though visibly 
shrunk by decay, could still boast a less 
emaciated sign of the fair proportions of 
manhood, than the attenuated, thread-like, 
shadowy forms of some of our dissipated 
youth they were limbs that measured to the 
standard of something more than the mere hero ; 
they composed a figure for the field of peace ; 
yet, as the sword has, in every age of the 
world, been, alas ! as necessary as the plough, 
and as the one has been frequently drawn to 
protect the other, it behoves us to do honour 
to both, by entwining the garland of industry 
with that of glory, the corn-sheaf with the 
laurel; O, my friend! that we could, in 
this terrible crisis, mingle the olive in OUT 
wreath. 

' ''.riv/chfc cji'^bi/forfi '.or. 1 ^olht^oc^fr 
" Pure source of every joy ! mild concord bring, 

Each healing blessing on thy snowy wing : 
Teach the wild storm of ruthless war to cease, 
And charm, the nations to the reign of peace," 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

O, may the wish and prayer of 'the Poet* be 
soon -granted ! 

But I dare not, at present, trust myself with a 
subject that to the eye of Pity discolours every 
scene of the sun that has been shining on my 
quiet path; and cheering -every unmolested object 
within my view, from the ptoor gateman on his 
bank, to the small bird that I now hear 
^whistling near his shed. 

- Blessed sun ! and blessed country ! where 
freedom still adds lustre to his beams ! In the 
wide ttavel of his orb, around this his zone of 
Attempered radiance where else, even on this 
beauteous day, can its inhabitants promise to 
themselves either the herb which he expands, 
the fruit which he matures, or the varied 
seed which multiplies itself in the abundant 



The question has the energy of a self-evident 
proposition, and includes its answer. 



* Henry James Pye, Esq. in his poem of Naucratia : a 
work equally poetical ancl patriotic. 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 179 

And this. Baron, is amongst the prime 
beatitudes of our land. In almost every other, 
the establishments of society, the arrangement 
of nations, and the harmonies of nature are 
cither broken or destroyed. Even in yours, 
my friend, they are endangered. The Baltic 
and the Rhine, which partially lave your shorea 
only partially defend them : and you feel 
already the difference between a Continent, vast 
and almost immeasurable, without a navy, and 
a small insulated speck, girded by the ocean 
which it commands, and guarded by the im-. 
pregnable castles that repel the billow and the 
foe. The visitations which have been inflicted, 
on the territory of your Emperor, in the circle 
of Burgundy and the Belgic provinces, and the 
contributions since the unstable peace, in dis- 
tricts bordering on the Lhan, without counting' 
the spoliations on electorates, palatinates, and 
other principalities, have already desolated their 
beauty, and drained the internal treasure of an 
enormous sum ; and that only in two campaigns, 
and a thir4 is begun. In the mean time, our 
palace and our hut, our bounteous fields and 



280 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

beauteous gardens remain to us. " In Britain, 
thank GOD !" says an animated writer, " the 
throne stands above the cottage to protect it ; 
but its basis is too sound to. fall upon and crush 
it." It looks down benignly upon it it smiles 
even upon my poor gate-man's shed, my friend, 
like a tutelary guardian from above. 

A very short residence amongst us will carry 
the conviction of these awful truths from your 
eye to your heart. You are coming to us with 
improved faculties ; with the partial endow-, 
ments of nature highly cultivated-r?-and with an 
expanded soul with feelings too, which an in- 
timate acquaintance with man, in different 
climes, and under different governments, have 
instructed and enlarged. The wisdom thus 
collected, will prepare you for an early, un- 
prejudiced, and honest confession, and for a 
full enjoyment of what would, indeed, inspire 
in the breast of every foreigner a sentiment of 
admiration ; though in some bosoms, it would 
be mixed with envy; yet, what is envy but 
admiration in despair ? In your manly bosom* 
the emotion will be as gerjeroiis as honourable. 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

A survey of England, were yoii now its visit* 
;mt and could that survey of it be taken, 
even at this perturbed crisis ; its still uninjured 
scenery, its life-sustaining surface, its prosper- 
ing agriculture, its protected arts, its guarded 
commerce, and its unviolated property how- 
ever hard certain levies on it, in this dread 
season of uncommon exigence, and of expedi- 
dient, may seem to bear on those UNTRAVELLED 
natives, who, happily for them, have not had, 
- and O, my lov'd countrymen, may ye never 
have ! the various opportunities which you, 
and I, my friend, and thousands more have but 
too often possessed, of comparing themselves 
with others of being eye-witnesses how much 
more tranquil, more rich, more happy, and more 
secure in rights, in morals, in freedom ; in their 
treasure, their progeny, and their religionin 
all that the ALMIGHTY gives, and that man 
receives however, I say, the reverse of these 
simple yet solemn facts, may, by temporary 
pressures, or seductive arguments, be imposed 
on some of those who daily possess, though they 
da not enjoy, the blessings of England, YOU 



032 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

will soon be satisfied, that neither in this, nor in 
any former sketch, however warmly coloured, 
have I indulged in the language of enthusiasm 
or nationality. Yes, were you this moment 
and O that you were ! the companion of my 
way, even at this casual resting-place on the 
public road could your liberal eye survey with 
mine the serenity, the plenty, the exuberance 
around- could your ear, like mine, receive the 
unbroken carol of the woods, the villages, the 
fields, and listen to the undisturbed minstrelsy 
of gleeful labour, of affection, and of joy, on this 
fair day, which in so many other parts of the 
earth dawn'd, and alas ! must close, in blood, 
you would feel, not only what it is to be a 
"Briton, but to be under 'the shadow of Britan- 
nia's wing, even in the worst of times ! 

" We have every thing yet to lose," says a 
powerful writer, " we have under our own form 
of government, comfort, protection, honour, 
security, and happiness. The price of preserv- 
ing them is, indeed, great, very great ; but the 
price of anarchy, of unqualified reform, and 
intxtricabk confusion, would be greater beyond 

3 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 283 

all calculation. We have still many and great 
resources ; but the times never called with so 
loud, and so commanding a voice, for wisdom, 
discernment and integrity, for temperate, timely, 
and gradual concession, .with dignity and secu 
rity, and for an ceconomy rigid and undevkting, 
on the parts of our governors. The times call 
equally for obedience, systematic acquiescence- 
under temporary pressure, alacrity in defence, 
and vigilance, and loyalty, and steadiness in all 
the subjects of thrs land. We have no need of 
trie Roman Armilustrium ; our arms are purified 
already. Our soldiers are loyal and honour- 
able, and without spot. They have been 
weighed in the balance, and found perfect. 
And I trust, our naval flag will never again 
wave but in defiance to our enemies." 

The flame of this' manly and impassioned 
Author kindles into a kind- of glory, as he prd* 
ceeds " I see" continues he, " the ancient 
marks of our country in every loyal counte- 
nance. I would give life to every one who 
thinks, and who loves our great kingdom and 
its constitution. In times of national distress 



284 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

Poets have sometimes found means to invigorate 
the public mind, and to confirm its stability. 
I speak, indeed, of the days of old, c the 
image of our antique world.' But now, when 
the temple and the citadel, the worship, and 
the strength, and the constitution of our fore- 
fathers are to be venerated and defended ; it is 
happy that we can trace and find these powers, 
each in their order. We may be reminded of 
all that was depicted in the fabled palace, where 
the deities once assembled in full consistory : 

Slgna tamen y diiiumque tori y et quern quisque, 

sacrarai 
Accubitu genioque.) locus monstrantur. 

" But I fable not. We have not the images,, 
but the very things before us ; and the words 
of poetry are set off by the superior force of 
truth." 

I will offer nothing after this very masterly 
display of oratory in support of truth, but leave 
it on your heart with the glow it must have 
produced. Let us not degrade such writers, 
whatever cause they espouse, by calling them 

7 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 285 

Partizans. They are Philanthropists. They 
are, indeed, amongst the noblest works of GOD ; 
they are honest men. 

Yet, eloquence, philanthropy, genius and 
honesty may be associated in the same head and 
heart. The assemblage is rare in any nation ; 
but to the honour of ours you will join the 
following Verses, on the character of the true 
POET, to the sentiments of the PATRIOT by 
which word I understand a real Lover of his 
Country and acknowledge, that we have a 
right, in this instance, to be proud of their 
Union : 

" The favour J d BARD, 
Who nobly conscious of his just reward, 
With loftier soul, and undecaying might 
Paints what he feds in characters of light. 
He turns : and instantaneous all around 
Cliffs whiten, waters murmur, voices sound ; 
Portentous forms in heav'n's aerial hall 
Appear, as at some great supernal call : 
Thence, oft in thought, his steps ideal haste 
To rocks and groves, the wilderness or waste ; 
To plains, where Tadmor's regal ruins lie 
la desolation's sullen majesty : ' 



286 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 



Or where Carthusian tow'rs the pilgrim draw, 
And bow the soul with unresisted awe : 
Whence Bruno, from the mountain's pine-elad brow 
Survey 'd the world's inglorious toil below ; 
Then, as down ragged cliffs the torrent roar'd, 
Prostrate great Nature's present God ador'd, 
And bade, in solitude's, extremest bourn, 
Religion hallow the severe sojourn. 

" To Him the Pow'rs of harmony resort. 
And as the Bard, with high-commanding port, 
Scans all th' ethereal wilderness around, 
Pour on his ear the thrilling stream of sound ; 
Strains, from the full-strung chords at distance swell, 
Notes, breathing soft from musick's inmost cell ; 
While to their 'numerous pause ; or accent deep, 
His choral passions dread accordance keep. 

" Thence musing, lo ! he bends his weary eyes 
On life and all its sad realities ; 
Marks how the prospect darkens in the rear, 
Shade blends with shade, and fear succeeds to fear, 
Mid forms that rise, and flutter through the gloom, 
Till death unbar the cold sepulch'ral room. 

" Such is the Poet : such his claim divine ! > 
Imagination's charter'd libertine, 



GLEANINGS IN -ENGLAND. 

He scorns, in apathy, to float or dream, 

On listless satisfaction's torpid stream ; 

But dares alone in vent'rous bark to ride 

Down turbulent Delight's tempestuous tide. 

With thoughts encount'ring thoughts in conflict strong, 

The deep Pierian thunder of the song, 

Rolls o'er his raptur'd sense : the realms on high 

For him disclose their varied majesty; 

He feels the call : then bold, beyond coritroul, 

Stamps on the immortal page, the visions of his soul." 

Such, my dear Baron, is this Poet, Patriot, 
and Philanthropist ! A man who can thus 
feel, and thus express his feelings, illustrat- 
ing his theory by his practice, a teacher of 
the most sublime art, and amongst the very 
best illustrations of what is to be taught ; one 
who has proved himself able, ajike to point the 
keen yet polished shaft of satire, and to sweep 
the lyre, is privileged, even on Mr. Pope's 
axiom,* to censure or to praise. -My own pub- 
lic efforts have slightly, or not at all, come 



* " Let those judge others who themselves excel." 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

under his notice, either in the way of eulogy 
or blame ; I, therefore, feel myself the more 
free to pour forth my sentiments of. his high 
capacities, without suspicion of a motive less dis-' 
interested, than the pure enthusiasm which true 
genius should inspire : and I dare to hope, 
though heaven knows we are all feeble beings 
had such a Writer been my foe it being 
scarcely possible he should be an ungenerous 
- one I should thus have yielded to the general 
delight which conviction of general excellence, 
would have excited in my heart. 

Not that I conceive he has always been 
right in his judgments : and for that reason I 
lay some stress on the repetitions of the word 
general. No doubt, he has sometimes, like other 
men, followed prejudices, and partialities. Me- 
thinks it might be shewn that he has. In some 
cases, perhaps, his affections, and in others his 
informations, may have misled him; but, 
" take him for all in all," in the varied 
combinations that unite the accurate Critick, 
the man of sound sense, the rational Politi- 
cian, and legitimate Poet, it is a long time 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

since we have seen the like -of the Author of the 
" Pursuits of Literature/* in OUR World of 
Letters : although we have at all times been, 
as we are now, infested by a mongrel tribe, 
usurping, by turns, all those august characters, 
in the way that a monkey may be said to 
resemble a man. ^ ( .' 

Yes, in sad truth,, my illumined friend, a race 
we have, as noxious as numerous ; a sorry sort 
of vermin which not only eject the venom they 
Engender in their own heads and hearts; but, by 
a baneful kind of process, extract fresh supplied 
from the -sweetest flowers of poesy, and from 
every precious intellectual substance they literally 
feed upon and disgorge. 

These are amongst the vermin that one of 
the most brilliant writers England ever had to 
boast, observes, " find poison every where, 
take a delight in collecting it, and then diffusing 
it abroad." * Thousands of them are spawned 



* A passage from one of Mr. Sheridan's speeches in parlia- 
ment. If you will allow me to apply the deicriptioa of an ima- 
VOL. IV. U 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

annually even in that palladium, the BRITISH 
PRESS, whence have issued so many fair crea- 



ginary to a real person, I shall desire you to consider the follow- 
ing sentence, as equally characteristic of the fancied hero* 
for whom it was written, and MR. SHERIDAN. " He has the 
happy art of rendering every thing interesting; whatsoever 
he touches, though dull and drossy in itself, acquires, by 
the alchymy. of his genius, a shining, and even sterling 
quality : sometimes discovering ideas, light, easy, and full 
of fire, and sometimes anticipating sentiments more weighty 
and profound. 

My estimate of his poetical and dramatic genius you 
already know.t Of his senatorial talents, those who differ 
from him in political opinion, will be unanimous in their 
admiration of his wit, the glow of his eloquence, the play 
of his fancy, and the richness of his mind. 

With perfect adhererrce to truth, and, considering the 
avowed opposition of their public tenets, with the mosc per- 
fect reverence of Genius, the author of its u Pursuits" has 
conveyed, in one of his text-illuminating notes, as graceful 
a, ccimpliment to Mr. Sheridan as he has, perhaps, ever 
received. " I am sorry to say, that in the realms of wit 
ahd humour Mr. S. is now silent. Why is he so ? politics 
are transitory, wit is eternal." Yet the ingenious writer 
whom I quote must remember that wit is also universal, and 
enters into all subjects : and he will certainly admit that it 
forms a prominent feature in the political portrait of Mr. S. 

* HENRY FITZORTON, in <* Family Secrets." 

-\- Sketch of the Modern Theatre, in the Introduction to Gleanings m 
Wales, & c . ' 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 2Q1 

tions : but the Rose, you know, nourishes the 
canker. These pests are more thick than the 

, ~-.~.~^ 

A pause, however, in his attendance as a statesman, has, 
happily, for the public amusement, been recently, and Very 
successfully filled by adapting to our theatre, The Death of 
Rolla, from your own KOTZEBUE, The German literature, 
now, and in many, but not in a!/, respects, is deservedly 
a fashionable intellectual importation; of which, when 
opportunity allows, I will communicate with you more 
Particularly. Meantime, which is not often the case, if you 
or KOTZEBUE himself should be in England while the 
anglec'ised PIZARRO is in its run, as we call it, you would 
both confess that the laurel of the original should be shared 
with him who has given it in several parts a brighter hue by 
transplantation. Indeed, from the report which I have heard of" 
the German bard's modesty, ever a mark of true genius, I am 
persuaded he would himself be the first to divide the wreath 
with the British one. Nor is MR. SHERIDAN alone entitled 
to a liberal feeling from the affecting KOTZEBUE. An 
English woman has just claim on him : and the fame he has 
acquired at home, is not a little expanded abroad, and 
especially in England, by the medium of Miss PLUMTREE'S 
elegant and interesting translations. 

But of the living writers of my country* of both sexes, 
and of whom it has reason to be proud an assertion, which, 
I trust, I shall support by accumulated proofs a day may 
come, when, unwarped by false criticism, either of censure 
or applause, I may be able to give you a just estimate of the 
present intellectual character of the land, as it is formed by 
its late or existing authors. What has hitherto been 
said on this great national subject, certainly one gf the 

U 2 



29'i 'GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

toads at the bottom of our ditches, as dirty too, 
as loathsome and as empoisoned. Yet, -behold 
the justice of Heaven ! while, for inscrutable rea- 
sons, they are permitted to operate as a literary- 
plague, in every unclean form of Life-makers, 
Historians, Memoir-men, Pamphleteers, and 
I 3 aragraphists, amidst all the intellectual pro- 
perty and plenty of the land a land flowing 
with the milk and honey of true genius our 
literary Canaan they usually die of famine ; 
hot unfrequently, indeed, destroyed by an excess 
of their own gall. Alas ! you are no stranger 
to them on the Continent. Even the profound 
Lavater and the interesting Zimmerman, have 
had their share. How many hundred of the 
miscreant animal cula have viprously crept into 
the wreathes of our British Bards, banquetted 
on the beauties of which they were formed, 
but died like the bloated fly amidst the sweets ? 



_ 

most important that appertains to any empire, you will - 
consider but as passing tributes to particular authors as the 
topic of the moment makes it necessary for me to anticipate, 
a part.of what I have long had in reserve. 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 2Q3 

And, is it not exulting, to see how that which 
is immortal, triumphs over that which B 
corrupt? The spoiler perishes, the -wreath 
remains ; the one is swept like the atom away; 
and of the other not a laurel leaf shall ultimately 
be injure^. 

Delightful ZIMMERMAN I tender, empassi- 
oned Soliloquist, endearing Sage, virtuous manl 
How often do thy just and generous reflections, 
animate, or soothe me ! how often -does thy .high 
and ennobling sense of Genius, and thy proud 
scorn of its daring yet impotent foes warm my 
assenting heart! more especially, when I 'ob- 
serve little minds, " drest in a petty, brief 
authority," wreaking their malice upon; great 
one?, fb; 

j IBaron, have tfaie happiness -'to* -enrol 
amongst your friends : hi& viiftues^ 
and the sentiments which describe them, &re 
familiar to you. I cannot have -a doubt bu the 
subsequent passage^'sd apposite to what has been 
ju&t said, is amongst the treasures / of your 
memory. iliofl ob asa, fio^ : 

" The invectives of the 'vulgar and the ' in- 

1 



GLEANIXGS IN ENGLAND. 

dignation of the critics, are wreak' d in vain 
against celebrated names, and against all those 
who liberally imitate them. Why, say each 
of them to the laughing blockhead, would 
you expound the meaning of all that I write, 
since my finest strokes, congealing in your 
mind, produce only such frigid ideas ? JVho 
are you?, by what title do you claim to be 
keeper of the archives of folly, and arbiter of 
the public taste? Where are the works by 
which .you are distinguished? When, and 
where, have you been announced to the world? 
how many superior characters do you reckon 
among the number of your friends ? What 
distant country is conscious that such a man 
exists? Why do you continually preach your 
nil admlrarif Why do you strive to depreciate 
every thing that is good, great and sublime, 
unless it be from a sense of your own littleness 
and poverty? You seek the approbation of the 
weak and giddy multitude, because no one else 
csteemsj you : and despise a fair and lasting 
fame, because you can do nothing that is worthy 
of honest -praise; but,. THE NAME'S YOU ENDEA- 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 



205 



-TOtfR TO RIDICULE SHALL BE REMEMBERED 
WHEN TOUR'S WILL BE FORGOTTEN !" 

Letters of gold would be too poor for the 
sentence that closes this animated apostrophe, 
But it is presented to a rich mind, which knows 
how to feel and to enshrine it. 



dpirfw a:fc;n 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 



\ /!KT 

' . 1 od L-:.>O '/.. : 





tn : ,' 

LETTER XFI. 



FAKENHAM, August 13, 1798. 
1 HE remarks which ended the last Letter, 
have kept my mind in the same train of thought 
during the remainder of my ride,, even from the 
flowery and fruitful spot where I began them ; 
and before I give you any account of this place, 
you will feel nothing loath, I trust, in permit- 
ting me to go somewhat farther into the sub- 
ject. 

The CRITICISM of English Literature, can 
only be of less importance than the LITERA- 
TURE itself; or, will it not be more correct to 
say, it forms a part of that Literature ! The 
subject, it is true, has been often discussed as a 
SCIENCE in a very masterly manner. It has 
been part even of our school learning, and we 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 2C)7 

"have all been taught to reverence the art which 

directs the human understanding how best to 

form its judgment, and to exercise the powers 

which principally distinguish the mind of man. 

From the fountain heads,, from Athens, Greece 

and Rome, sources the most rich and pure, 

flowing in full streams from the Tiber to the 

Thames, we have derived at once the theory 

and practice of this great and noble art an art, 

which once had, and guardedly speaking, has; 

still for its characteristic, that which, one of 

our English Bishops has given to what real 

wisdom and judgment, will ever consider as 

the most arduous, because the least agreeable 

part of the critical office. " Satire," says 

this good old pillar of our church, * should be, 



like the Porcu 



pine 



That shoots sharp quills out in each angry line, 
And wounds the fiery cheek, and blushing eye, 
, Of him that WRITES OR READETH guiltily.-" 



* JOSEPH HALL, one of the Bishops of Norwich, in this 
county, who read the rhetoric Lectures in the Public Schools 
of Cambridge, for two years; and distinguished himself as 



.GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

But we live in days of revolution ; many of 
the old English terms, such as Patriot, Poet, 



LTWOq. Jfe: 



..n-sm lo J>fiiu - > I 

I A rrinll '? b3 A ni I rf 
Wit and a Poet in a very early period of his life, by the 

publication of his Satires. 

The ingenious and very useful compiler of i the " Norfolk 
Tour," has . preserved many tr-aits of the: virtuous life, and 
literary character of this Prelate, and also of his honours 
abroad, and the persecutions he suffered at home : of which 
latter the following is so notable an instance,, that you will 
be well pleased with my anticipation of it : 

Having refused in 1624 the Bishoprick of Gloucester, 
he accepted in 1627 that of Exeter, and in 164.1 was trans, 
lated to the See of Norwich ; but on December 30 following, 
having joined with other Bishops in the protestation against 
the validity of the laws made during their forced absence 
from the parliament, he amongst the rest was committed to 
the tower on the 3oth of January 1642, but was released 
in June following, upon giving 5000!. bail, and withdrew to 
Norwich; where he lived in tolerable quiet till April 16+3. 
But then the order for sequestering notorious delinquents being 
passed, in which he was included by name, all his estates 
real and personal were seized and sold at public sale, even 
(says 'Blomefield) to a dozen of Trenchers ! nor did they for- 
get to lay their hands upon his Ecclesiastical preferments, 
and turn him out of his palace. 

This eminent Divine it seems, was called by Learned 
Foreigners, the English SENECA. 

In the beginning of his Satires he claims the honour pf 
having led the way ip this species of composition : 



GLEANINGS IX ENGLAND. 2Q() 

Critic, Orator, are not yet explained, according 
to their new interpretations, though we have 



" I first adventure, follow me who list, 
And be the second English Satyrist." 

This assertion of the Poet is not strictly true ; for there were 
various satyrical writings previously to his appearance. But 
he was the first who distinguished himself as a legitimate 
Satyrist, upon the classic model of Juvenal and Persius, with 
an intermixture of some strokes in the manner of Horace. 
Succeeding authors have availed themselves of the pattern set 
them by Hall. The first three books were termed by the 
author toothless satires. He has an animated idea of the dig- 
nity of good poetry, and a just contempt of poetasters in 
the different species of it. He says of himself, in the first 
atire : 

({ Nor can I crouch, and writhe my fawning tayle 
To some great patron for my best avayle, 
Such hunger-starven trencher-poetrie, 
Or let it- never live, or timely die." 

His first book, consisting of nine Satires, is chiefly level- 
led at low and abject Poets. Several Satires of the second 
book reprehend the contempt of the rich, for men of science 
and genius. J shall transcribe the sixth, being short, and 
void of all obscurity, and illustrative of some English man- 
ners two centuries ago. 

" A gentle squire would gladly entertaine 
Into his house some trencher-chaplaine : 
Some willing man that might instruct his sons, 
And that would stand te good conditions. 



300 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

plenty of new dictionary men, with our great 
lexicographer at their head and though the 



First, that he lye upon the truckle-bed, 
Whiles his young maister lieth o'er his head. 
Seated, that he do, on no ctefault, 
Ever presume to sit above the salt. 
Third, that he never change his trencher twise. 
Fourth, that he use all common courtisies ; 
Sit bare at meales, and one half rise and wait. 
Last, that he never his young maister beat, 
But he must ask his mother to define 
How many jerks she would his breech should line. 
All tjiese observed, he could contented bee, 
"To givejt<ve marks, and winter I'werie /" 

From this Satire it is evident how humiliating the terms 
were to which a private tutor \yas obliged to. submit, without 
much probability of eraaricipatioo by the salary of 3!. 6s. 8d. 
and a great coat. 

O the comparative^ difference, my frien'c!', in this respect, 
between the olden times, and these our days ! the trencher- 
chaplain is now thought, a fit companion for the splendid table 
of his gen tje squire the truckle-bed is converted to a bed of 
statethe trenther itself wito a plate of silver, -changed at 
every dish! Instead ,0f ; waiting 'half the time, in a winter 
livery, he ; has a score of well-/<W<>rY, vjt\\-perfum'd> 
wt\\-nosegaf J, and well./^Y footmen at his command : 
some of whom, jndeed, are appendages of too superb a kind, 
to wear any livery a,t all the Gentlemen of tiff Gentleman, so 
please you, and, h-ave several little Gentlemen of their 



GLEANINGS IX ENGLAND. 301 

Word aster has been joined to each of the above 
names, as patriotaster, criticaster, &c. much 



own to wait upon them, before they can be properly 
to wait upon the great Gentleman j who, in turn, has, per- 
adventure, a greater Gentleman than himself to wait upon ; 
and even that greater Gentlen an is in waiting to some greater 
yet, till the scale of " courteste" we will not call it servi- 
tude, shall we ? mounts up to the greatest Gentleman of 
all ! and he, alas ! is obliged, in purchase of all this wait- 
ing, to wait upon every body. 

And with respect to tutorage, instead of a 3!. 6s. and 
8-penny salary even as money was, at the time the learned 
Bishop wrote his Satires, two centuries ago (in 1597) 
and a great coat: if, peradventure, which is not unfrequenu 
ly the case, the " trencher-chaplaine" of these times, is 
chosen to be the trencher-chaplain abroad, in consequence of 
having ** stood to good conditions at home, or to speak in 
language more modern, if he is advanced from private in- 
structor, to the dignity of Travelling Tutor, the five Marks 
multiply by hundreds, and after having made, with the 
companion of his hopes, in the traverse of different climes, 
all that fashion, fortune, or nature would allow, to be 
made of him, when, in short, he returns his charge to 
the arms of his friends, and to the bosom of his country, 
either a finished English gentleman, or a finished English 
blockhead, or a sort of mediocre character between both, 
the Tutorship glides comfortably into Annuitysh'ip, and a 
snug three hundred pounds a-year for life, with a life interest 
also in. the femily table rewards the age ! 300!. a-year \ 
why, 'tis the price of almost the income of a petty Princi- 



302 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

might yet be done. You know enough of our 
language to see how, easily I might pun upon 
these two adjunct syllables, and with the help 
only, of what you foreigners call the hisser in 
our throats, (the s) as critic-^w-ter, dividing 
one from the other by a slight hyphen, you 
feel that the appellation would lose none of its 
force. In solemn discussions, however, we 
hold punning, on this side the German ocean, 
to be inadmissible. 

Know then, my friend, that amongst our 
innovations, we have literary statutes at large, 
and codes of criticism in abstract, with which 
the noble art, just mentioned, has no more to 
do, than with Breslaw's art of Trickery. Those 



pality in some other countries, with all its wisdom to boot.' 
" O the rare days of good Queen Bess !" our learned Clerkt^ 
have been wont to exclaim " O the finer days of good King 
George!" say I, when a youth can give an estate for the 
finishing part of his education, which too often teaches him 
nothing more than the easiest way of doing nothing agree- 
ably the getting rid of himself ! but we have many splendid 
exceptions of whom in order. 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND- 303. 

codes and statutes, indeed, much more resemble 
the mighty magic of the miracle-worker last: 
named, than any of the regular bred practi- 
tioners of old, or of modern times. Circum- 
-scribed mortals ! they could only work by rule 
and measure, the rule of reason, and the 
measure of right : but the critical Breslaws of 
Great Britain, might make Longinus, and all 
other book legislators blush, to think they had 
exhausted so many years in studying a science, 
which their successors have proved, requires no 
study, nor any science at all. Why, Sir, we 
have biographers, who know only, that the 
subjects of their jnemoirs, were born within the 
century, and if, not still alive, must certainly be 
dead ; but who, with these slight materials, can 
story us from the swathing cloaths to the 
shroud ; can catalogue the minutiae of soul and 
body, vices and virtues, weigh to the fraction 
of a scruple, even to the weight of a split hair, 
or thistle-down thrice divided, the natural stock 
of sense and nonsense, ascertaining each man's 
share in short, chartists, who draw maps of 
our morality, with our black sea, and our red 
2 



304 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 

sea, ouf depths and our shallows, our ScyHa 
and our Charybdis, and all coloured and dis- 
ci oloured^ and lined and interlined, curved and 
straightened, even like the map of the world 
itself.* 

Yea, and we, have critics, who on the like 
principles, and the like stock of ingenuity and 
information, deal wholesale and retail in the 
trade of lampoonery, or panegyric ; but, by a 
singular inversion of common rules, it is a 
species of fame for an author, or for his book to 



* Talking of the great difficulty of obtaining authentic 
information for biography, Johnson said, " When I was a 
young fellow I wanted to write the ' Life of Dryden/ and 
in order to get materials, I applied to the only two persons 
then alive who had seen him ; these were old Swinney and 
old Gibber. Swinney's information was no more than this, 
* That at Will's coffee-house Dryden had a particular chair 
for himself, which was set by the fire in winter, and was' 
then called his winter-chair ; and that it was carried out for 
him to the balcony in summer, and was then called his 
summer-chair.' Gibber could tell no more but < That he 
remembered him a decent old man, arbiter of critical dis- 
putes at Will's.' You are to consider that Gibber was then 
at a great distance from Dryden; had perhaps one leg only 
in the room, and durst not draw in the other." 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 305 

become the subject of the former, and a kind 
of disgrace to find himself, or his composition, 
the burden of the latter. 

Peacefid plunder to all such. You know the 
remark of Pope.* A poetical axiom that has 
expanded itself through every country, and has a 
place in every memory. Its truth, indeed, will 
travel down to all ages, and continue unim- 
paired till the earth shall be freed of noxious 
reptiles. But as the animalcula of the mincfr, like 
those of the air and earth, are, doubtless, among 
the evils entailed upon us by the Fall, and will 
probably, more or less, annoy us till our eternal 
Rise, they have, I perceive, derived a cori- 
sequence to which they are not entitled, even 
while I have been describing their filthy 
nature. 

I have to discourse with your enlightened 
mind, my friend, on a matter of more weight, 
as to the office of literary criticism. 



* " Destroy his web, and sophistry ? in vain 
The creature's at his dirty work again." 

VOL. IV. X 



.GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

There cannot be a doubt but that while the 
.liberty of the press, as to the freedom of pub- 
lication, shall be sacred and on this side of 
licentiousness, it ought to be uncontrolled 
it is equally just that the sense and nonsense 
which indiscriminately issue from the immense 
vehicle of, communication, should be subject to 
.vigilant examination ; otherwise the whole 
world would be over-ran with abortions of 
the mind. We want the assistance of some 
guides, .who will take upon themselves the 
trouble of separating the good from the bad, 
s.nd wade through, the troubled deep of lite- 
rature,, in order, if we may be permitted a 
continuation of the figure, to collect the pearls 
and gerns, and to describe the useless weeds, 
whether swimming on the surface, or lying at 
the muddy -bottom. A stupendous labour } 
if we consider the great disproportion betwixt 
the former and the latter. Applying this t& 
the case in point, and it is by no means in- 
apposite, a reader unused to such arduous 
undertakings, can image to himself no task so 
overwhelming as that of being left unaided to 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 30? 

search for instruction in the mass of productions 
which are every year piled, mountairi high, 
before him. We will even suppose whatever 
is most beautiful in fancy, captivating to the 
heart, and informing to the intellect, under 
his eye; but he startles at the view of the 
enormous quantity, nor can any degree of ex- 
cellence in the quality reconcile, or, indeed, 
justify him, in a life so brief, and so connected 
with other duties as the present, to the im- 
measurable fatigue of such a task. Even 
if there should be found a few persevering 
spirits, endowed with a fortitude to peruse all 
that comes to hand, the profit would be no 
ways answerable to the pain by which it must 
be procured. For this reason, it would be 
proper that there should be some professional 
inspectors to direct our choice, even were lite- 
rary excellence and defect nearly equal. But 
when the average is on a ratio of at least ninety 
in the hundred in the scale of compositions dead 
ivzighf } there is not, perhaps, any office so 
necessary as his, who, with patient circum- 
spection., will examine the great account be* 

x 2 



308 GTLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

i 

twixt wisdom and folly, and settle the ba- 
lance. 

It is not, therefore, possible to conceive a 
more useful institution than that of a Literary 
Journal, when conducted with various ability 
and inflexible justice; nor can it be denied that 
a great variety of articles, in every branch of 
literature, have been analysed on these princi- 
ples ; and a due proportion of good has thence 
resulted to the community. 

Numerous as are the critical reptiles above* 
mentioned, there are very many writers endued 
with the perseverance, judgment and candour, 
necessary to all the useful as well as valuable 
purposes I have just stated. 

We have to boast even at this day, of great 
and noble critics ; and from most, indeed, in all 
of our Literary Journals,* we find substantial 



* It can be known only by the inhabitants of this country, 
and even those must have leisure for reading, and some 
capacity to discriminate and to decide, how much a general 
spirit of good writing is diffused over the British Empire, 
not only by compositions of length, of labour, and of high 
character, whether of genius or erudition, but by the most 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 30Q 

evidence of unimpeachable judgment and un- 
warped integrity. It is not, however, to be 
expected, that any human association composed 
of many members, should be conducted on 
principles uniformly sagacious and correct. 
Were they to write apart, and consult together 
ultimately, there must even then often be a 
clash of sentiment, a dissonance of opinion. 

Yet^ I am persuaded, the critics above-de- 
scribed, are the very persons who most reprobate 
the virulences, and regret the errors for which 
they are made responsible. The literary body 



slight mediums of information, amusement and ingenuity. 
Amidst the mass of things with which the Press continually 
teems, " Born indeed designed like numberless other ere- 
ated atoms, " but just to look about them and to die :" there 
are now to be seen monthly and daily instances to confirm 
this assertion ; and a judicious separator of the heterogeneous 
farrago that mixes with and makes up an English Magazine 
or Newspaper of the present day, might give to the public 
an annual selection of real worth, acceptable not only to 
readers of one class or profession, but of all. While our 
correspondence is at Press, I have read two examples the 
one on a subject of criticism, the other of our national 
benevolence. " A series of observations on the Poem of the- 
Pursuits of Literature, publishing in a print called the 
" Morning Herald," and an eulogy on our Public Charities 
in a Sunday Paper called the " Observer." 



310 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

cannot be supposed to separate, or seem to move 
a limb independently ; much less to commit 
themselves, and confederate against each other, by 
Deploring the waiit of candour in some of their 
colleagues, and of capacity in others. Thus 
from their not being associated by cpngeni T 
ality, or chosen by consent^ and yet under % 
Jdnd of compact to hold together, and by the 
good faith that should be preserved in all trea r 
ties, bound to support one another in the way 
of a common cause the errors, incongaii ties, 
adulations and virulences, which are observed 
occasionally to disfigure their journals, attach 
indiscriminately to all. 

A man must write from the spirit of envy, or 
from pique, or ignorance, if he assents not to 
. these arguments because there is monthly con- 
firmation of them. And of the authors who 
have, individually, to complain of uncandid 
treatment, or partial representation, there can- 
pot be one who has genius and candour, in his' 
own mind and heart, but must see and feel there 
is often just criticism, in the very publication 
where his own performance may be slighted or 
aspersed. 2 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 311 

If, therefore; like every other valuable insti- 
tution, abuse has crept into this ; if prejudice 
and prepossession too often vault into the chair, 
and instead of its becoming a Judgment-seat ', 
where the labours of the human mind are to 
have a.fair trial., it is frequently a secret Tribunal, 
where the judges are wholly unknown, and the 
facts judged, so unfairly selected and argued, 
although formed into the most serious charges, 
that the work which ought to be condemned is 
acquitted, and the production that deserves to 
receive distinguished honours, is, by this un- 
generous artifice, supposed to be guilty -of all 
the imperfections imputed to it. 

If, what by a misnomer is called criticism, 
the mutilated parts of a book are sometimes 
given as specimens of its general character 
If, in offering an author's argument without 
reference to the context by which alone its 
force or feebleness is to be determined the 
most important and admirable reasoning is torn 
from its antecedent and consequent, like a limb 
hacked from the body, and presented in a 
mangled state, to serve as a measure for the 



312 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

harmony and beauty of the whole; *' or if, 
which is not more generous,, or reasonable, a 
frequently licentious, sometimes malignant dis- 
play is made of ill-grounded ridicule a power, 
by which all things, the most grave and sacred, 
however happy they may be, in their concep- 
tion and delivery are discoloured, distorted, 
tending to excite the very reverse impression of 
that they probably would have made, on a mind 
unseduced by the intemperate sally of misap- 
plied or ill-tempered wit and all this to indulge 






* tf A perfect judge will read each work of wit 
With the same spirit that its author writ : 
Survey the WHOLE, nor seek a fault to find 

Where Nature moves, and rapture warms the mind. 
******* 

Whoever thinks a faultless piece to see, 
Thinks what ne'er was, nor is, nor e'er shall be. 
In every work regard the writer's end, 
Since none can compass more than they intend ; 
And if the means be just, the conduct true, 
Applause, in spite of trivial faults, is due. 



Learn then what MORAL Critics ought to show ; 
For 'tis but half a judge's task to know. 
'Tis not enough, taste, judgment, learning, join ; , 
Jrvall you speak, let TRUTH and CANDOUR shine." 

POPE'S ESSAY ON CRITICISM. 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 



313 



the miserable propensity of raising a laugh 
against what, even at worst, is, perhaps, the 
best effort of its author to please the public ; 
and who, possibly, in the bitterness of his dis- 
appointment, weeps not only over the loss of 
that daily bread which the scorner earns by his 
taunts, but which the industrious author has 
often earned more honestly than his critic 
if, while it must be owned there are numberr 
less objects, which deserve to be assailed by all 
the powers of wit, this dangerous talent snatches 
the honest morsel from the lip of Genius, for 
the paltry triumph of saying " a good thing;" 
if those compositions which deserve our reve- 
rence, and which, perhaps, have delighted even 
the defamer himself privately, have, nevertheless, 
been publicly sacrificed If the attempt to 
turn performances of indubitable merit and 
labour into ridicule,* by shewing them under 



* There is, perhaps, in the nature of wit a proneness to 
mischief, which, by indulgence, grows to an inveterate 
habit. Perhaps, there is in human nature itself, a turn for 
the ridiculous ; but in generous minds this propensity is cor. 
jrected and meliorated till strong occasion invites it. Our 



314 GLEANINGS IX EXGLANU. 

absurd circumstances, is but too '. successfully 
practised. If, " the sovereigns of Reason, and 
the artificers and purveyors of our most ex- 
quisite pleasures/' * those of the intellect are 
unquestionably of 'that order if the rightful 
Critic upon the human understanding, is, by 
the common and inevitable lot of all corporate, 
bodies, thus unfortunately mixt with those 
<ritical usurpers/- who %vith pontifical pride, 
fulminate their defamatory bulls against Genius 
and Learning, in ignorant pomposity or in rude 
impertinence -^ If such accusations are well 
founded, depend upon it, - those who are the 
true protectors, advocates, and guardians of 
Literature the THUE critics even while by a 
sacred duty they arfe constrained to reprehend, 
punish, or wholly condemn some of the 



tnemy could not suddenly sprain his ancle within our view, 
but a kind of irresistible pity would impel us to step forward 
to his assistance ; but if it were waggishly represented, even 
that a fnendy in falling from his horse, had disordered his 
wig, dropt it from his head, or any other way ludicrously- 
exposed himself, we might join in the laugh till we discover. 
ed the nature of the accident, though he should have broken 
his leg. ; 

* Tr^e acute and animated Mr. D' ISRAELI, 



GLEANINOS 



ENGLAND. 



315 



Votaries of Science and the Muses, theytot the 
persons most touched and aggrieved: whenever 
the numerous pettifoggers of Literature, any 
of those unprincipled usurpers with; whom, by 
imperious circumstances,, they may be blended, 
have perplexed or lost the. cause of real Genius 
.or Learning. The verdict, it is true, is always 
given by the pvBia.<:~ our Literary Grand 
Jury but, if by false reasoning, or false im- 
pression, by partial evidence, or by corrupt 
influence, it is practised upon and misguided, 
the sentence would of course be unjust, though 
it might have the sanction of a majority of the 
.council and of the judges.! j>& 

It is the advice of LONGINUS to the Poet, 
that, on perusing his composition, he should 
seriously ask himself, whether . on such an 
occasion, HOMER would have written such 
verses ? It seems no less expedient, for a Critic 
to consult his own heart, and ask, whether 
LONGJNUS would confirm his judgment and 
ratify his opinions ? But when we reflect on 
the 'great masters of antiquity, their chaste and 
simple, yet bold and animated criticisms, the 



31$ GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

soundness of their judgment and the extent of 
their erudition, who shall forbear blushing for 
the petty cavils and peevish puerilities of our 
times ? It were to be wished that such Critics 
and such Judges, would remember the fate 
of ZOILUS : for though they may seldom have 
a HOMER to criticise, they may discover equal 
ignorance and equal malignity in analyzing even 
the dullest of his commentators. 

With respect to READERS, there is a feeble- 
ness in the mind that has been warped by 
early dependance. It has so long been under 
-the dominion of others, that it fears to judge 
for itself; like childhood in leading-strings, or 
age under its crutches, we often tremble to 
walk alone, and know not the degree of our 
intellectual strength. They who have been 
accustomed to take up the opinions of others, 
seem even to forget they have a right to form 
any of their own; and in cases of literary 
judgment, so far from asserting any independ- 
ency, they are afraid either to praise or blame, 
to be pleased or angry, till they learn, from the 
higher powers, how far they ought to approve or 
1 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

\ 

condemn. And it is well known that many 
persons neither venture to purchase, nor even 
to peruse a book till they have seen what these 
arbiters of the. intellect say of it: nay, such is 
the degree of subjugation in which these despots 
hold some of their slaves, that I have personal 
knowledge of a man of no mean understanding, 
who confessed his vassalage was at one time so 
extreme from the force of habit, and the want 
of fortitude, that his impatience to read a work 
of which the title had attracted him, and feeling 
it impossible to wait for the permission of his 

judges, he had the temerity to be delighted on 

''' '* f ' 
the authority of his own emotions, but soon 

repented of his rashness : a decree was issued 
against the performance on the first day of the 
succeeding month, the adventurous Reader * 



* You acknowledged the receipt of, and honoured mo 
with your sentiments upon the new edition of a novel, 
wherein I had the hardihood to interweave subjects of greater 
strength than are usually admitted into that species of com- 
position. 1 intended it as an experiment, and to say it did 
not succeed, would be ungrateful to general criticism, as well 
as to the public: Yet, to the majority of Readers, by whom 
works of that tort are most appreciated, and who require; 



318 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

found out that his untutored nature had yielded 
to impulses unsanctioned by his tyrants, and on 



a rapid story, wherein the heart may indulge its affections 
without check or controul, it was suggested to me, the 
work might be more acceptable, were the progress of the 
fable less impeded. I accordingly disencumbered the, subse- 
quent edition of all irrelevant matter ; reserving to myself, 
however, the privilege of introducing the literary discussions 
in some other place. Our correspondence, my friend, offers 
that place, and. the subject immediately under considera- 
tion, will, I trust, derive same light from the following 
dialogue, abridged from what appeared in the edition * pre- 
ceding that I had the pleasure to send you. 

" In relief of the serious studies came in the intellectual 
amusements of the three brothers.-}- The juvenile muse of 
the younger, by her light and playful sallies, pleasantly con- 1 
trasted and agreeably set off the more solid, not to say 
solemn meditations of John ; thence, indeed, and from an 
early sorrow, the very sports of the latter took an aweful turn. 
He read the poets as a relaxation from the philosophers, yet 
he read them not as an enthusiast, but as a critic ; and there- 
fore detected more faults than beauties. Henry, on the other 
hand, with all the ardour of poetic passion, read, as he wrote, 
to be delighted,, and so found more beauties thau faults j he 
was too much in love with the muse to look severely for> or 
at, her little inconsistencies, and, as is the case with all 
lovers, was too sincerely smit with the charms of Uis-objecl 
to be angry at her foibles. 

* Family Secrets. 

f John, James, and Henry Fhzorton. 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 319 

a second-perusal, he discovered how very hasty 
he had been in pronouncing that to be simple, 



" This dissimilitude in their opinions, however, was a fresh 
source of amicable contention." 

" Ah! how do I wish my dearest father," said Henry, after 
giving the matter a little rest, " that you would deign to 
settle our ever-jarring opinions on this subject. Yours have, 
indeed, been already favourable, but John, I perceive, wants 
constant repetitions of high authority to make him think well 
of any art but his own." " I admit what you have related, 
brother, to be poetry," replied J6hn, " and some of its fire 
has reached me, but there is no degree of authority can make 
me an advocate for palpable absurdity, whether in life or 
literature, in verse or in prose, though the undue exercise of 
such authority, which I can never have to fear from bur 
father, might make me silent." 

" John bowed respectfully to Sir Armine, who took his 
hand cordially, and smiled kindly on Henry. " You must 
not, my Harry," said the impartial James, " suffer your 
name to be catalogued amongst the irritable race ; nor must 
you, my dear John, be ranked amongst the snarlers of the 
day. From true criticism, a poet should not shrink ; and 
false, can ultimately do him no harm. Let John's censure, 
therefore, rather animate Henry to triumph over what may- 
be hypercritical, and to remove from his composition what 
may be really objectionable." " In the days of youth," 
said Sir Armine, " they are commonly days of intrepidity, 
I was myself, you must know, hardy enough to write yeaj 
and to write a romance." : 

" A romance, Sir!" questioned John ? "Verily,, a ro- 
mance,*' answered his father. < c Where is it, Sir, what is 



320 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

\ 

tender and elegant, which his critics had proved, 
by a variety of instances, and which they would 



its name ? I never heard you mention it before," observed 
Henry, earnestly. " I can easily conceive the reason df 
that,'* cried John fignificantly. (< You think/' said Sir 
Armine, (( I was ashamed of having misemployed my time." 
" The wisest youth hath it's indiscretions, Sir," observed 
John, respectfully. " Had it been a treatise on Philosophy, 
it would not have been thought indiscreet, I dare say>" cried 
Henry tartly, looking at John, " and I have not a doubt, 
but my dear father had every reason to be proud of it," con- 
tinued Henry. (f In truth, neither proud nor ashamed," 
replied his father. " You shall hear ; when I had written 
my romance it really Was a romance, John ; there is no 
denying it ; I felt curiosity to collect the private sentiments 
of acquaintance upon my labours."" Labours, Sir !" inter- 
rupted John, drily. " Yes, labours, son John ; there may 
be serious labour in giving the ease of nature to every work 
of art. In case the general sense of a private circle had been 
against me, prudence, I had hope, might prevail with vani- 
ty," John shook his head, " to take warning from the 
* still small voice,* of limited disapprobation, without pro- 
voking the clamour of public censure." And as to criticism, 
every body is, naturally, more or less, a critic, in whatever 
respects the emotions and passions of human nature, and the 
joy or sorrow of human life. Nay, every family is a little 
world of critics. 

Brother James," cried Henry, " how can you be read- 
ing that abominable Wood's Institutes, at a time like this, 
when my dearest father is just beginning to read his novel ?'* 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 



321' 



probably have undertaken to prove against 
Nature herself. 



** In the progress of reading/' continued Sir Armine, " I 
experienced all that can be exhibited of human variety, in 
human opinions. The favourite passage or character of one 
hearer, became the furious objection of another : some ap- 
proved only of the pathos, others yawned^and nodded in the 
midst of it. These, again, were awaked by a laugh, which 
threw my pathetical admirers into the vapours. Some ob- 
jected to the length, some to the brevity : trash, trumpery, 
stuffy nonsense! obligingly echoed one of the party. De- 
lightful, charming ! incomparable ! resounded another fair 
auditor. 

" And pray, Sir," questioned Henry, sighing, " what 
in this perplexing counter-action of judgment, did you do ?" * 
(( I considered, that if a composition deserved to travel down 
the stream of time, unjust criticism would not long obstruct 
its course. That which is imperishable in its own nature, 
shall assert its immortality amongst things immortal ; nor 
can any degree of elaborate panegyric restore to life what 
oblivion has swept away, at the command of reason and 
truth." 

" Ah ! I feel the sacred truths, Sir," cried Henry ; " but, 
methinks, I should have lost all confidence in myself, and 
dropt the trembling pen." 



* But from an impotence or timidity of a Reader's judgment, and hi--' 
dependence on that of others, many very promising productions of young 
writers are never read after the Critics have proscribed them. 



VOL, IV. 



Y 



322 CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

At the same time, it must be owned,, pro- 
fessional critics have a hard task to perform, 



" I would have held mine the faster, or mended it," re- 
joined John, " if I found it worth the pains ; if not, I would 
have thrown it away, and taken up a more useful instru- 
ment." 
1 " Alas ! I fear, I should have renounced the press at 
once/' said Henry. " No doubt," retorted John, " there 
are cowards enough in the world ; and their fine timidity 
may, for aught I know, be a mark of genius ; but give me 
the soul rough, determined, and if you will, inelegant, 
which, like the mountain pine, however it may for a moment 
bend to the blast, rises again as often as it is assailed." 

, " I have wondered at nothing more," replied James, 
" than at the unfair dealings of readers with authors." 

({ Authors with readers I believe you. mean," quoth John. 

" Rather," continued James, " it is matter of surprise to 
me, that considering the injustice of readers there should be 
any authors at all." 

tc Now you have mended, it !" cried John. 

" James has reason on his side, notwithstanding," said Sir 
Armine. 

" It appears to me, Sir," answered James, respectfully, 
<f that the golden mean finds as few friends amongst books as 
among mfen ; a certain extravagance pervades all things. 
Every reader, more or less, exercises the tyranny of a 
critic, if the work happens to be adapted to the degree <jf 
his capacity and modes of feeling, no panegyric seems warm 
enough ; if it be written above or below that capacity, those 
modes, or different from his general idea, or particular expe- 
rience, or the temper of the moment, there is not any cen- 
sure deemed strong enough to cpndemn it. 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 323 

even when their fund of candour and sagacity, 
tlreir heads and hearts are equally rich. Consider, 



Were I to be desperate enough to write another book," 
said Sir Armine, <( methinks I would try a new experiment. 
I would write up to the capacity and feeling of half a dozen 
persons, with whose different dispositions I had acquaintance: 
for argument's sake, we will suppose the characters to stand 
thus a philosopher, a poet, a divine, a humourist, a politician, 
and a man o.f the world ; for each of whom I would prepare 
some essay, treatise, or poem, suitable to their respective 
genius. But, agreeably to the design I had in view, I would 
so arrange these, that, presuming each to be excellent in its 
kind, two very contrary effects should be produced by that 
arrangement. The book being ready, I would take care 
that the six persons for whom it was intended, should be sum- 
moned to a private recital, in a more finished and select way 
than before. I would commence my experiments on the 
humourist, delineating that singularity, whim, or weakness 
in mind or manners, in which he would most delight, but 
which my man of the world would pronounce < execrable 
stuff;' the* philosopher, * beneath the dignity of the human 
understanding ;' the poet, f despicable ;' the divine, 
f frivolous ;' the politician, * absurd.' I would then make 
an attempt upon the rest indiscriminately, and should cer- 
tainly find that the pleasure of one, while his favourite sub- 
ject was before him, would have a nearly contrary effect on 
the others ; until in the end, each man would ^depart with a 
favourable impression of the work, not because it might le 
generally excellent, but because the particular taste, and, 
perhaps, predominant passion of each had been gratified.* 
Were you the next day," continued Sir Arming " to hear 

72 



324 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 



' my friend, their drudgery. How often are they 
condemnedtowastethe most precious of all things 



the philosopher passing his opinion on the performance to any 
Friends of his own description, lie would tell you there was 
one essay worth all the rest : The bard would recommend 
it to his brethren of the laurel, purely for the poem : The 
politician, for its happy strokes at ministry or the opposition : 
The divine, for its polemics : The man of fashion, for its 
elegance in trifling ; and the humourist, for that display of 
character, which, though seen every hour in life, is always 
welcome to men of his disposition, when found in books. 
Thus, if every book could be ushered into the world with 
such an experiment, the reading of it would be general : but 
my complainMs, that were such a book to be placed in the 
way of six such readers separately, without a table of contents 
to anticipate the subjects, and should it happen that the order 
in which the book was opened, presented the philosophy to 
the humourist, the divinity to the man of fashion, the 
airy pleasantries to the divine, 'the politics to the bard, and 
the poetry to the politician, my poor book would call forth 
more vengeance against it, than was ever fulminated at a 
miserable culprit from that book of pious curses the Romish 
excommunication .' ' 

" Your quarrel with readers then, Sir," said James, 
quietly, " is for their want of candour, and of patience. 
You would wish them to begin dispassionately, to sit down 
to their author with a mind disposed to be pleased, and pro- 
cced to the end before they passed judgment. Just as we do 
in legal affairs. And there ought to be courts of justice, 
no doubt, in literature, as well as in law." : 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 325 

m this brief world time and temper, on what 
frequently cannot repay the attention of a single 
hour. The pious Roman deplored pathetically 
the loss of a single day : the English professor* 
of criticism have to bewail the consumption of 
months, and of years. And though by a long 
habit of reading with design to analyze, they 
may acquire a facility of seeing the force or 
feebleness of a subject, we frequently perceive 
the most painful internal evidence of their 
having honestly, but laboriously, wdded 
through, and even plunged profoundly into 
the troubled waters of ignorance and vanity, 
without even finding one drop of wit or wisdom 
at the muddy bottom. And, how many a 
weary league on the waste land of literature 
must they pass, even after they have emerged, 
before they arrive at the realms of poesy, realms, 
where they may purify in streams of the genuine 
Castaly, and luxuriate amongst flowers of the 
true Parnassus ? or hope to taste of those ripe 
and rare fruits which adorn the groves and 
gardens of true philosophy ? 



326 CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

But, O how sweet, you will exclaim, must 
be the recompence, when, after all their toils, 
the lettered adventurers reach those enchanting 
fclimes. True, my friend, harassed and disap- 
pointed, can we be surprised if sometimes the 
>est critic, and best tempered man should be 
too much fatigued with labouring over barren 
ground, and fretted at meeting disagreeable 
or disgusting company by the way, he should, 
for a while, be indisposed to enjoy more fertile 
land, or more .beautiful scenery ? He has 
escaped as .from a wreck, and wishes for 
nothing so much as a resting place, even were 
he thrown upon the treeless heath, or unshel- 
tered beach.. 

Our writers, therefore, must participate 
the blame with our critics; and thus, even 
the most valuable of the 'former, must some- 
times be content to receive a slight if not a 
wound from the most just and honourable of 
the latter. But this can rarely happen, and we 
are still, for the most part, to attribute bad 
criticism of good composition, to bad critics; 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 827 

and if they depreciate willingly, not ignorantly, 
even to bad men. Literary property, to 
speak of it only as it refers to genius and 
honour, exclusively of labour or reward, is 
. certainly as important, and as dear as any that 
may be called our worldly substance. Ought 
it not then to be as sacred ? " He who filches 
from us our good fame" is a robber ; and as 
the treasures of the mind, may be taken, like 
our purses, by assassins under a mask, and as 
even our English laws have provided no punish- 
ment for an apprehended offender tins way - 
except for the poor, and comparatively innocent 
thief who steals our intellectual children, to 
deface and mutilate them gypsy fashion, that 
they, may very well pass for his own as, 
moreover, there is no award "of damages in relief 
of the sufferers, and, amongst all the great 
public works, as we have no literary scandalum 
magnatum, nor even one poor clause in favour 
of defrauded authors in our black acts- though 
a wanton critic should plunder a man of genius, 
not only of reputation, but of bread- and as, 
notwithstanding the general impotence of false 



328 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

criticism, this must, sometimes, have been done, 
- -a reform in LITERARY ESTABLISHMENTS, 
would certainly be another grand national 
object of this country ; and it is a great pity 
insurmountable difficulties are in the way of it. 
Yet, as the whole world is now said to want 
a reform, and as there are, luckily, more re- 
formers than there can be defects, to whatever 
number the latter may amount most likely 
a hundred reformers to a single defect and 
as every reformer has been, and continues to be, 
tiard, ve ry hard at work with his voice, his pen, 
and his sword all powerful weapons why it 
may be hoped that when every thing else is iri 
the state of PERFECTION, to which many of the 
religious, and all the political prophets of the 
age, assure us all things are advancing, yea, 
with the strides of a giant, though every stride, 
those prophets cannot but allow, have been, 
'and must still be made in human gore; while 
battle, murder, and sudden death, , must rally 
round the standard of reformation, and the 
-desolating angel should I not write ^DEMON ? 
brings up v -the rear, with nothing but a, ruin 
3 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

for the trophy, and a blood-dropping laurel 
to mark the progress, or grace the triumph 
of the spirit of PERFECTABILITY still,, I 
say. Baron, we may hope, that even authors,, 
yea, and critics, may come in for some few of 
the good things in the new land of promise. 
Indeed, when whatever is wanted in ethics^ 
politics, and religion shall be supplied, and 
when every thing that is now crooked in a 
world which has so long had a twist, shall be 
made strait ; when, in fine, we are to be made 
perfect upon earth, a privilege we have been 
blindly taught for three thousand years, was a 
work reserved for heaven- it would be hard, 
indeed, if literature should not be entitled to a 
6hare. .. ,; 

Animated by this joyful hope, and I am sure 
you see the reasonableness of it as clearly as 
myself, we must be content to receive all things 
with the old leaven, and to accept of bad 
with good authors, and critics, in this bad, 
good, but, it seems, perfectioniz'mg world. 

Yet, while that world, and this small, but 
lovely part tof it, contains a true friend, fixes a 



330 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

sentiment of honour in the mind,, an emotion of 
tenderness in the heart, displays a warm sun 
over our heads, and spreads a fair expanse of 
generous land at our feet, I shall in proud, but 
reverential imitation of the great Bestower, 
continue to see that " IT is GOOD," and 
most gratefully bless the Giver and the gift !v.* 
P. S. Since the time of sending these letters, 
two new literary journals have been established ; 
and both have begun their career under every 
fair and favourable auspice. Their- plan is 
generous, their professions liberal; and if their 
practice continues to confirm them, they will 
prove a valuable addition to the national stock 
of just criticism, while they serve at the same 
time as a farther atonement for what is dis- 
graceful to literature, and its guardians. The 
one is called the " ANTIJACOBIN REVIEW, and 
Magazine ; or Monthly Political and Literary 
Censor: and the other the " NEW LONDON 
REVIEW ; or Monthly Report of Authors and 
Books." My promised parcel shall enclose the 
numbers which have hitherto been published 
pf both. You will receive them as specimens 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 



331 



af "their respective pretensions. They propose 
to accomplish the same objects, and on the 
same honourable principle : a determination to 
counteract the designs of those writers, whether 
Reviewers, or others, " who labour to undermine 
our civil and religious establishments, and to 
restore criticism to its original standard;"* 
" to notice in terms of severe and unequivocal 
reprehension whatever disturbs the public 
harmony, insults legal authority, outrages the 
best regards of the heart, invalidates the radical 
obligations of morality, attacks the vital springs, 
and established functions of piety, or in any 
respect clashes with the sacred forms of de- 
cency, however witty, elegant, and otherwise 
well written." *j~ To furnish, in short, an honest 
and exact report of what is passing among those 
engaged in the pursuit of Science and polite 
Learning, and to give such a picture of . it in 
its present cultivated state, as may do honour 



* Ami- Jacobin, 



f London Review, 






332 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

to the English Press, and such as men of polished 
and enlightened minds delight to contemplate. 

Inasmuch as the new journalists shall effect 
such noble ends by such laudable means, they will 
not only reflect credit on themselves but de- 
serve well of their country ; they may thep> 
indeed, call their work registers of domestic 
literature, animated by a spirit of rnanly and 
liberal criticism; and they will materially contri- 
bute to illustrate the sentiment which the new 
London Reviewers have chosen for the motto 
of their prospectus, " Reviews show the progress 
of a country, or an age, in taste and arts; in 
refinement of manners, and in the cultivation of 
science. They mark the gradation of language 
itself, and the progressive or retrograde motions 
of the public mind upon the most interesting 
subjects in ethics, in politics, and religion." 

Were I not mlly persuaded you will read this 
terse and polished sentence, with the liberal 
spirit, yet limited sense, in which it must have 
been written, by the very learned and ingenious 
author, DR. PARR, :one of the chief ornaments 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

of erudition, I should desire you to- place 
the helping verb should between the first and 
second words of the passage, to signify the time 
WHEN the golden age of pure criticism shall 
return; not admitting we now. enjoy it un- 
reservedlv. 






334 GLKAXItfGS IN ENGLAND. 






LETTER 



FAKENHAM, August 27, 1793- 

JL HERE is not much to be said for this 
small town, but the little that truth affords will 
be to its advantage Compact, neat, and agree- 
able are its epithets. The environs are in a part 
of the county which corresponds to this engag- 
ing character; and at the distance of a few 
miles, you are presented with beauties of a very 
distinguished kind. In its vicinity is RAINHAM- 
HALL, very deservedly enumerated amongst the 
beauties of England. Amidst other capital 
paintings, that of Belisarius, by Salvater Rosa, 
has been particularly noticed. It is said to be 
the gift of the GREAT Frederick of Prussia. 
ARTHUR- YOUNG, whose Tour into this county 
is published, and which I recommend to your 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 335 

attention, particularly the part which treats 
of the Norfolk husbandry, has marked Mr. 
STRANGE' s print from this painting as admirable ; 
though' there is a doubt amongst the connois- 
seurs whether, after all, the original picture 
represents Belisarius or Caius Marius. It is not 
without good reason, that another Tourist has 
preferred the situation of this mansion to that of 
any other in the county, and he justly observes, 
that the country around is rich, and comfort- 
looking. The park and woods have been esti- 
mated at about 80O acres : and the house itself 
has the advantage of being built under the 
superintendance of Inigo Jones. The river on 
which the town stands might, probably, be 
called Fa-ken, part of which word, anciently, 
denoted water, as HAM, in the time of the 
Saxons, did a dwelling. 

But, there is something better than the finest 
edifice that the above-named great architect 
has left us as a memorial of his art ; something 
more delightful to the traveller even than 
glassy lakes, vivid lawns, or luxuriant woods 
the urbanity and benevolence of its present 



336 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

noble possessor. By means of the first quality, 
every stranger who has the air and manners of 
gentleman may become a guest, and by virtue 
.of the last, all whose deservings are at all known 
may become its object : and those who have 
claims upon that benevolence on the simple 
recommendation of poverty, or the more sacred 
one of misfortune, will have their claims allowed. 
This is not only a county-character, but a 
good name, that, gathering well-earn'd plaudits 
as it goes, spreads to the remotest part of Great 
Britain ; and in the course of a long and 
estimable life must have travelled into more, 
distant lands. r-. r sr:v' 

The Marquis has filled many great official 
situations, with honour to himself, and service 
to his country. With a great share of facile wit, 
he commixes a yet greater proportion of good- 
humour ; and If you should encounter him in 
any of the walks or rides around his domain, he 
will soon make you forget that you see him for 
the first time, or that you have been introduced 
to him only by the affability of his own dis- 
position. 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 33? 

I thus delineate him, my dear Baron, on 
more powerful testimony than my own, or that 
of any individual. He is amongst the few, 
whose domestic and public reputation may be 
tf usted to; in general a very faithless historian 
common report ; and although I know him 
but by a transient view, I have so long been in 
the habit of hearing him spoken of, by persons 
of very different minds, that whenever by any 
accident he has met my eye, I have looked at 
him with as much conscious feeling of being 
intimate, as if I had seen the transactions which 
have built up the fair superstructure of his 
character ; * nay, seen its basis his generous 
heart. 



* The celebration of Marquis Townshend's birth, 
day a few months since in Ireland, was one of the most 
brilliant, and at the same time the most truly affectionate, to 
that excellent Nobleman, which has occurred in the course 
of thirty-one year?, since his friends established there this 
annual tribute of gratitude; the recollection of political bene- 
fits is seldom long-lived, and in ordinary cases personal 
affection does not often survive so many years of absence ; 
yet, we see in the instance of Lord Townshend, the re- 
collection of public services cherished even by the children 

VOL. IV, Z 



338 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

" FAKENHAM," says one of its old describers, 
" is famous for nothing, but for having had 
saltr-pits formerly ;" but a young historian of 
the place, whom I have just met, assures me, 
it can at present boast of something else. My 
intelligencer is a female, whose prompt but apt 
reply to rny question, occasioned the following 
information : the truism it contains, is not dimi- 
nished by being in verse, even though com- 
posed on horseback, and in a canter. I beg 
to 'call it 

THE RULE OP THREE, 

t!i.i 1-..' r .' J >r j* J ;.*.-' ". '!&! Sffijf *"' '.'' JtLJ ' '! 

*' Whose house is that, my pretty lass, 

All fine, and red, with wings so wide, 
So gay, one cannot by it pass 
And that so white > on t'other side ? 



of those on whom they were conferred ; and esteem for his 
private worth evinced by men who could only have learned 
it from the sincere and grateful testimony of their fathers. 

So happy and so unanimous a company as that of March 
14, the Anniversary of the Marquis, is not often to be met; 
the occasion seemed to inspire every man with cheerfulness. 

Amongst the toasts which circulated on this occasion 
were The Marquis Townshend, the true and long-tried 
Friend of Ireland) and that the many who love him in 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 3301, 

And that, my dear, which doth uplift 

Its head so high, be-tow'r'd at top ?" 
There, please you, Sir, dwells parson Thrift, O 

Here, Lawyer Claw, there Doctor Lopp." 

This answer, Baron, serves for all, 

Sure as there's physic, gospel, law, 
In every town at which you call, 
. You'll find a. Thrift, a Lopp, and Claw. 

And such this lucky Trio's lot 

When you have journey 'd England round, 
You'll see that it has always got 

The three best things on English ground, 

Best house, best living, and best pay ; 

And e'er you thrice three leagues have been, 
I, thrice three pounds, to one will lay 

You'll note tbe lucky Wights I mean, 



that kingdom may have frequent returns of celebrating this 
day. 

The Marchioness Townshend in beauty, virtue, and con. 
duct, the ornament of her sex And the different branches 
of the family of this venerable and amiable Nobleman* 



34O GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

Are Doctor, Lawyer-fnan, and Priest ; 

Worthies, I ween, decreed by fate 
On thrice one more best things to feast, 

On mind, and body, and estate. 

But if, as sometimes you will view, 

To body, a fair face should join, 
That takes the tead of t'other two 

With Lawyer, Doctor, and Divine. 

Though still observe, the wights agree, 

So zealous is their guardian care 
To part between them all the three 9 

And for the happy people's share 

Leave preachments, parchments, drugs in plenty. 
And what, my friend, can be more kind ! 

Wish you a suit ? they give you twenty, 
And what .does wealth, but load the mind ? 

That load they. take ; and Priest will, tell 
What makes the penniless still even, 

Gold, often leads the rich to hell, 

Quoth he the poor go light to heaven. 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 341 

Then as for physic, when your breath 
Is all that's left 'twixt skin and bone ; 

Doctor can serve you after death, 
And save your very skeleton ! 

Laud then, Q muse ! the generous three, 
Who on themselves, take all our evil ; 

Keep from the worms the body free, 
And the soul rescue from the devil." 

i Ib.^j . ra*; 1 i:jU"[ 9Ii3> 'ij3V-. ,.-.!:. -.- ^TA.^Ou -Dip 

It seems worse than a slight, an injustice to 
nature, and to art, a neglect of some of their 
best displays, in this fair country, to pass 
unnoticed the mansion and domain of MR. 
COKE, at a short and beautiful ride from Faken- 
ham. The truth is, I paid my visit to these, 
under the most unfavourable circumstances : 
first from ignorance, or rather forgetfulness, 
that the house is open to public curiosity only 
one day in the week, (Tuesday,) and I was 
luckless enough not to select that one ; a 
circumstance, however, which would not have 
been an interruption to you, my dear Baron, 
because foreigners have an exception in their 



342- GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

favour. I had still, you will say, the most 
inviting part of the property before me : 

" All that is out of door 
Most rich;" 



but, disappointment likes company, you know, 

i 
and did not on this occasion come alone. A 

fair -seeming day broke its promise to me, 
and scarce allowed ne lucid interval that I 
could rly on : and whenever I did, though 
deceived before, put my trust in a . smiling 
moment to glance over the ample park, the 
twenty-acred lake, and the embellishing plan- 
tations, I was soon taught the rashness, of be- 
lieving in appearances, and forced to take shelter 
under some of the majestic trees, till even they 
poured down their vengeance on my head, and 
I was glad to seek the more solid protection of 
an . exceeding good inn, which offered an in- 
vitation I very gladly accepted. 

There, however, the very circumstance I 
had been lamenting was the means of my 
gaining some particulars which neither sun- 
shine nor shade could so soon have procured, 

3 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 343 

When the storm " is pitiless" the nearest asylum 
becomes welcome. On entering the inn I 
found it filled to the gate-way, and out-houses, 
as well as the passages of the house, with people 
of as different manners as sizes. The historians 
of tlie moment were numerous, and dealing 
forth their knowledge to a listening party, 
which I remembered to have seen in the park, 
and which, like myself, had been tempest- 
driven out of it ; for the showers were not more 
sudden than severe. It is. pleasing to gather a 
man's character from a groupe of persons thus 
assembled. Their sentiments are as spontaneous 
as the occasion that brought them together; 
They are, therefore, to be depended upon : 
-more particularly where those who dissent 
essentially on one point, are unanimous in 
others of at least equal importance. Of these 
delineators of the mind and manners of the 
present proprietor of HOLKHAM, though there 
were many, who thought altogether differently, 
and more than one, who was in avowed oppo- 
sition to him, in what is supposed to be his 
politics a difference in which even the nearest 



344 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

bonds of consanguinity, and the dearest ties of 

friendship are often sacrificed in this country^ 

they perfectly agreed in describing him as one 

whose possessions of fortune were not more 

estimable, not more splendid than those of his 

heart; the benignity of which, indeed, gave them 

their highest value and use. " If a landholder 

cannot thrive upon one of MR. COKE'S farms, 

and pay his rent into the bargain," said one of 

my weather-associated biographers, " he must be 

a sot, or a prodigal ; and if there are any persons 

in Holkham, or in any of the parishes where 

this gentleman has property, who can be truly 

called poor folks, whether they can labour or 

not, it must be where it would not only be a 

weakness, and almost a wickedness to encourage 

them." " That, I believe, every one in any of 

those parishes will allow," observed another; 

" and as to his friends," added this last de- 

scriber, " they may be as much at their ease at 

Holkham house, as if they were at home, and 

I have heard many gentlemen say, if they find 

any difference, it is in the -attendance and 

attention being more constant and watchfuj 

there than in their own houses," 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 345 

" Norfolk is fortunate in this respect," remark- 
ed a gentleman who had not taken any part in 
the conversation before. He then spoke of 
some whom I have already mentioned, and 
adjoined the amiable owner of NAEFORD ; then, 
by a most unexpected transition, and in a most 
pointed manner, he contrasted those worthies 
by describing a yery reverse character; one, 
whose immense property neither afforded hap- 
piness to others, nor to himself; who sought 
solitude without any apparent relish of its wise, 
or sacred powers ^-who shrunk from the eye of 
the traveller with as much haste as the Lord 
of Rainhim advanced towards it who even 
shunned the face of day, and travelled in the 
most heart-rejoicing season, through the finest 
countries, usually by night; while his estate, 
yeomanry, peasantry and neighbourhood ex-*- 
hibited the marks of an unsocial man."- 
Possibly, my friend, an unhappy one ; and if 
so, alas ! he may be trying it is to be feared, 
vainly to escape from himself. And although, 
no doubt, the best, and the most blessed way 
to soothe us, even under this evil, is to occupy 



346 CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

ourselves in the good of. others ; to spread the 
industrious over our fields and .gardens ; to give 
new beauties to the earth, and fresh bounties to 
its poorer inhabitants ; to command the artist 
to display his talent, while he augments its just 
reward, to make nature herself more rich, more 
lovely; and at length beckon honourable 
friendship to 'mark our improvements, while 
faithful love has seen, and assisted their pro- 
gress; or invoke active contemplation, and 
may I not be suffered so to call, the study, or 
the science that in a condition of hoarded 
sorrow keeps us beneficially employed ? though 
these are certainly the most wise, and the most 
salutary means of forgetting ourselves, or of 
pbliviating. what we wish not to remember of 
others, yet, not the habits only, but the 
temperament, the indolence, or the inveteracy 
which sometimes character the effects of grief, 
or result from its causes, may prevent applying 
to such lenitives, or receiving from them any 
solace. In such cases, without knowing how 
far they may apply in the present, shall we 
not deplore the state of a human being thus 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 347 

shut by his own hand into a prison, which, 
however splendid to the passenger, has the dark- 
ness of the tomb to the self-devoted, and shall 
not pity, though uninvited, follow him there ? 

The weather continued equally unpropitious 
during the whole day and evening, and having 
an early engagement for this morning, I have 
been obliged to leave Holkham-House, and its 
varied attractions, unexamined by my own eye. 
The eyes of so many observers, have, however, 
been so long upon it, that there can be no 
other difficulty in presenting to you a descrip- 
tion, but what arises from not knowing which 
to prefer. 

One great feature of objection, indeed, which 
I cannot but feel against the very sight of fine 
'places upon 'paper, arises from the repetition of 
the very terms by which they are described. 
Varied and abundant as is our language, 
a whole warehouse of words, a magazine of 
epithets are soon at an end, when we come 
to five quadrangles, four wings and a centre, 
saloons of forty-two feet by twenty-seven, 
drawing-rooms thirty- three by twenty -two. 



348 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

and a statue gallery, of which the middle part 
consists of seventy feet by twenty-two, and at 
each end an octagon of twenty- two , with 
whatever of rich and rare can be put into these 
by the hand of fortune, or arranged by that of 
taste, which is, I understand, with as few ex- 
ceptions as may be, the case at Holkham- 
House. The words beautiful, fine, sublime., light, 
magnificent, brilliant, elegant and exquisite, are 
forced upon such hard, yet necessary duty, 
that the only chance one has of not being 
sickened pf looking at them is, if possible, to 
vary their position so as not to make them come 
too thick and fast upon us in the same order. 

" The house may be said to consist of five 
quadrangles, the centre and the four wings ; 
;iot that they are squares, but we use the term 
to give a general idea, Each of the two fronts 
thereof present a centre and two wings. That 
to the South, and the grand approach, is as 
leautiful, light, airy, and elegant a building as 
can be viewed. The gilding of the window 
frames and sashes of this front, done in }777> 
by the present Mr. Coke, gives it a magmfaenf 



GlfiANiNGS IN ENGLAND 34$ 

appearance. The portico is in a fine taste, and 
the Corinthian pillars 'beautifully proportioned. 
This central front, in every respect that can be 
named, appears all lightness, elegance, and pro- 
portion" 

This is all very true, I dare say, as also what 
is said of the saloon " that it is in an elegant 
taste, the pier glasses exceedingly elegant, the 
agate tables beaut if id, the state bed-chamber 
(30 by 24,) fitted up in a most elegant style, 
that the colours of the tapestry are brilliant, the 
chimney-piece remarkably beautiful, the figure 
of the Diana in the statue-gallery is fine, and 
the turn of the arms inimitable the Venus also, 
in the wet drapery, and the form of the limbs 
seen through the cloathing exquisite neither 
can it be denied that the fitting up the house 
in all particulars is in the highest degree 
elegant" 

But the reverberation of the epithets, though, 

perhaps, inevitable, return so rapidly, not only 

in the above description, but in almost every 

, other, they seem to have the mockery of the 

echo without its sweetness, the routine of the 



35O GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

parrot without her drollery ; and have sometimes 
brought to my mind the mountebank orator, 
with his (C Walk in ladies and gentlemen^ walk 
in, and see what you shall see the most beauti- 
ful tyger the most amazingly astonishing 
fine leopard, and the most magnanimously 
magnificent lion that was ever shewn in 
Europe !" Then running the stunning elo- 
quence back again with no other relief to the 
ear than beginning with the lion, and ending 
with the tyger. 

You enter into the spirit of an observation 
too clearly, and with too much candour to 
imagine that I wish to depreciate the real 
grandeur or beauty of this noble mansion, or its 
domain, which is universally ranked amongst 
the triumphs of the island. Indeed, the inside 
of the* house, * in point of contrivance , is 



* That which renders Mr. Coke's seat superior to perhaps 
any other in the kingdom, all the Norfolk historians seem 
to agree is its convenience and they vary very little in their 
proofs of this assertion. In the first "place with respect to the 
state-apartments : from the hall to the saloon, on each side a 



j&LEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 351 

allowed to surpass any other in the kingdom, 
for being so admirably adapted to our English 
way of living. r 



drawing-room, through one of them to the state dressing-- 
room and bed-chamber : this is perfectly complete. Through 
the other drawing-room to the statue gallery,, which may be 
called the rendezvous room, and connects a number of apart- 
ments together, in an admirable manner; for one octagon 
opens into the private Ving, and the other into the strangers 
on one side, and into the dining-room on the other. This 
dining-room is on one side of the hall, on the other is Mrs, 
Coke's dressing-room, and through that her bed-chamber and 
closets. From the recess in the dining-room opens a little 
door on the stair-case, which leads immediately to the offices ; 
and it should be observed, that in the centre of the 'wings, 
by the centre of the house, by the saloon door, and behind' 
Mrs. Coke's closet, are stair-cases quite unseen, which com- 
municate with all the rooms, and lead down into the offices. 
We say down ; for the hall is the only room seen on the 
ground floor ; you step directly from a coach into it, without 
any quarry of winding steps to wet a lady to the skin, before 
she gets under cover. From the hall you rise to the saloon or 
first floor, and there is no attic. Thus there are four general 
apartments, which are all distinct from each other, with no 
reciprocal thoroughfares ; the state Mrs. Coke's the late 
Earl's and the strangers' wing. These severally open into 
what may be called common rooms, the hall, statue-gallery, 
and saloon, ^nd all immediately communicate with the dine- 
ing-room. There may be houses larger and more magnificent, 



352 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND* 

But I confess., my friend, I go on the wing 
of impulse to every thing that has HEART in -it. 



but human genius can never contrive any thing more con- 



To give a proper idea of the plantations, park, and other 
objects which environ this museum of taste and elegance we 
shall enter Holkham parish by the road leading from Lynn to 
Wells, where twelve small clumps of trees surrounding the 
triumphal arch, first catch the attention, and give warning 
of an approach. Turning into a gate on the left, the road 
leads under the TRIUMPHAL ARCH. Crossing the Burnham 
and Walsingham road, a narrow plantation on each side a 
broad vista leads from hence to the obelisk, a mile and a 
half ; this plantation ought to be much broader, for you see 
the light through many parts of it ; but it is only a sketch of 
what the late Earl designed, and not meant as complete. At 
the bottom of the hill, on which the obelisk stands, are the 
two porters' lodges. Rising with the hill, you approach the 
obelisk, through a very fine plantation ; and nothing can be 
attended with a better effect, than the vistas opening at once. 
There are eight, i. To the South part of the house. 2. 
To Holkham church, on the top of a steep hill covered with 
wood ; a most beautiful object. 5. To the town of Wells, 
a parcel of- scattered houses appearing in the wood. 4. To 
the triumphal arch. 5. Stiff key hills. The rest to distant 
plantations. 

Vistas are by no means the taste of the present age ; but 
such a genius as Lord Leicester, the founder of this Mansion, 
might be allowed to deviate from fashion, in favour of 
beauty and propriety. Nothing can be more regular than 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. S$3 

that I often feel myself, as it were, flying from 
lath and plaster, brick and rnortar, however 



the front of a great house, the approach to it ought therefore, 
to partake of this regularity ; because straight cuts are out of 
fashion, it would be an absurdity to take a winding course to 
the house door, for the sake of catching objects aslant, and 
irregularly : such management is to the full in' as false a taste, 
as regular cuts where the house is out of the question. For 
instance, those from the temple at Holkham, which, how- 
ever, command exceedingly beautiful objects; i. Wells 
church. 2. Holkham staith. 3. The lake in the park, 
which is seen from hence through some spreading trees, in a 
most picturesque manner ; a planted hill, the sea. 4. Honcle- 
crondale. 

The object most striking on the north side of the park, is 
the lake, which extends 1056 yards, in nearly a straight line, 
covering, as Has been observed, about 20 acres, including a 
small island ; the shore is a bold one, covered with wood to 
a great height, and on the top stands the church. The stables, 
at the south-west extremity of it, are plain, neat and com- 
modious. The pinery and hot-house are equal to most in 
England. The plantations, in general, are sketched with, 
it is said, unrivalled taste : in the number of acres many 
exceed them; but they appear to various points of view, 
infinitely more considerable than they really are. At the 
north entrance into the park they show prodigiously grand ; 
you look full upon the house, with a very noble back ground 
of wood, the obelisk just above the centre, with an extent 
of plantation on each side. Nothing can be more beautiful 
than that from \$e church ; the house appears i the midst 

VOL. iV. A A 



354 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

skilfully arranged, or beautified, to soar above 
them into regions of nature and sensation. For 
which reason, though I hold it right, and part, 
of my promise, to have this account of Hoik- 
ham set down for you, I have a more sin- 
cere, I would have said a more congenial 



of an amphitheatre of wood, the plantations rising one above 
another. Another point of view which has been recommended 
to a traveller's notice, is the vale on the east side of the park. 
The north plantation stretches away to the right, the south 
woods to the left, and joining in front, form an extent of 
plantation that has a noble effect. 

The house was begun in 1734. by the Earl of Leicester, 
but, he dying in 1759, it was finished by the Countess 
Dowager of Leicester, 104764, who expended more than 
lojoool. upon it and the additional furniture. It is built 
with curious white brick, the centre and wings extending 
545 feet in length and 180 in depth. 

HOLKHAM CHURCH stands on a hill north of the town, one 
mile from the sea, and is a noted sea-mark, commanding an 
extensive prospect on the British ocean ; it is dedicated to. 
St. Withburga, and has a nave and two ailes with a chancel,, 
all covered with lead. At the south-west corner of the south 
aile stands a strong four-square tower, embattled, having four 
bells, the 'lower part serves as a porch to the church : the 
north and south ailes extend on each side of the chancel, and 
serve as buttresses against storms from the sea. The east end 
of both these ailes were chapels, anct are inclosed. The 
church was thoroughly repaired by the Countess Dowager of 
Leicester in 1*767. ' 






GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 355 

satisfaction in the following well-attested tra-i 
dition. 

Influenced., by a tender regard to indigent 
and widowed age, in the year 1755 the Countess 
Dowager of Leicester, who finished the building 
of this house, erected and endowed, and in 
-1763 further benefited, an alms-house in this 
parish for the maintenance of three men, and 
three women, to have sixpence a day each, one 
chaldron of coals each annually, and to have 
new cloaths once in two years ; the objects of 
her bounty to be elected by the possessor of 
Holkham-House, out of some parish in which 
its estates are situated. The building and 
furnishing the six dwellings, and purchasing 
the rents and estates for the support and 
maintenance of the whole at her Ladyship's 
cost.* 

I adopt the idea of Mr. Parkin, my friend, 
who considered a book which endeavoured 



* In the spirit of his virtuous ancestor, Mr. Coke has en- 
larged, I understand, and multiplied bounties of this kind an 
hundred fold, 

A A 2 



J56 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

to eternize the memory of truly great and 
noble benefactors, to whom works of con- 
summate excellence, and public acts of piety 
and charity, have deservedly given superior 
distinction in the age in which they lived a 
RECORD OF VIRTUE. 

From FAKENHAM to WALSINGHAM more 
than one attractive object meets your view. 
Midway are the ruins, I had almost said the 
repairs-r-of BASHAM-ABBEY, formerly a residence 
of the Colthorpes. It is worthy the notice of 
the traveller, whatever be his character or pro- 
fession ; if an architect, the singularity of the 
edifice, with its double display of entrances 
its ten connected chimnies its massy pillars, 
and its almost impenetrable walls, would be 
attractive; if an antiquary, it holds out to 
him, in addition to the above, the embrick- 
ment, if so I may write, of different armorial 
bearings, even up to the chimney tops ; if a 
moralist, he may contemplate in the dilapidated 
state of these edifices, the weakness of the 
utmost strength in the works of men's hands. 
Nor will any one, who has but the air of a 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

"person anxious to see more, be bounded in his 
curiosity by the outer walls. Your immediate 
correspondent is an evidence of this : for while 
he was viewing, from the back of his horse, 
the relicts of this venerable pile, one of its 
present residents (Mrs. Dennis) happening to be 
passing through the back part of the court- 
yard with some children, sent her servant to 
inquire if the gentleman wanted any thing ? 
Only to take a passing survey of this extraor- 
dinary old hall, was the answer, which being 
carried to the mistress, the servant came a 
second time to beg the gentleman would alight : 
the steed was conveyed into the stable, and not 
to an empty rack Mrs. Dennis received your 
friend as if he had been hers : went over the 
habitable parts of the house pointed to the 
fretted roofs, the massy walls, storying them 
as we past, and concluded with a courteous 
offer of refreshment, and declared what I had 
called a trouble had been a pleasure, with so 
much real urbanity, that I dare to ensure you 
as liberal a welcome as I have myself received ; 
and I am certain you will deem this a sufficient 



358 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

encouragement to stop your horse at the gate 
of Basham-abbey. I feel persuaded,, at the 
same time, you will suffer this instance of 
courtesy to go amongst others I have reported 
to you,, to dislodge from the minds of your 
friends, an idea, which I know prevails on the 
Continent, of a certain rough not to say in- 
solent- though, indeed, Irutal is the foreign 
word haughtiness, that, literally, shuts the gate 
of good manners, in the very face of an un- 
recommended stranger. The real fact is, my 
dear friend, both in this, and many other coun- 
tries, that strangers shut it against themselves. 
A traveller, bringing out with him such an idea 
throws over his own manners a kind of suspicion 
which is enough, not only to realize, but to 
justify it. The urbanities of society are inti- 
mately connected with each'other, and many of 
those most necessary, as well in the long and 
intricate journey of life, as in the excursions of 
pleasure, of learning, or of curiosity, which 
form no inconsiderable part of it, depend, in 
no slight degree, on oursehes. If our advances 
be frigid and suspicious, so will be our recep- 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

tion; and if they be conciliatory, they will 
generally excite a correspondent demeanour ; and 
not seldom make courtesy., at least, a guest in 
the mind where it may not be an inmate. 

But the almost expressed word repairs, in the 
early part of the above account of Basham- 
Abbey, has not been used without a stronger 
reason that what at first meets the eye. Sup- 
posing, and the supposition is founded, any of 
the original inmates or owners of the mansion to 
have been amongst the proud old English 
Barons, who held the humble and the poor 
in tyrannic vassalage ; or, that holy hypocrisy 
profaned the devotional parts of the building, 
may we not consider the wealthy farm-yard which 
now employs the honest labourer, and carries 
health, competence and content to his cottage in 
these milder times the chapel, which was once 
deformed by the imposing despotism of monkish 
superstition, now converted into commodious 
stabling for the generous steeds, and into gra~ 
naries for private bounty and for public service, 
the enormous rooms of monastic carousal, and 
swinish indolence turned into a comfortable 

3 



3(X) GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

Jkhchen, where Prudence is the handmaid of 
Plenty, and into the decent keeping-room, where 
children, instead of being perverted in their 
opinions, shackled in their faith, and warpt in 
their understanding, are nurtured and instructed, 
may we not, I say, consider all these somewhat 
in the way of repairs or changes for the better ? 
Parkin, in his continuation of Blomfield, 
tells us, that Sir W. Farmer built here (atE, 
B.) a very large and stately mansion-house, or 
hall of brick, in the reign of the 8th Henry, 
now very much decayed and ruinous. Over the 
great Gate-house, leading into the Court-yard 
on the outside, are arms of the kings of France 
and England, quarterly, supported by a lion and 
a griffin, the arms of Henry, and on the right 
side are those of Farmer, Below these are two 
wild men or giants in two niches, one on each 
side of the gate, as janitors, armed with clubs. 
Over the door of the porch, leading into the 
hall, are the arms of France and England, with 
a griffin and greyhound supporters, Henry the 
Vllth's arms, and Farmer impaling. And in a 
low window in the hall, is this date 1638, in 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

which year, it is probable, the house was 
bulk. 

The estate now belongs to Sir Edward Astley, 
of Melton Constable,* which as I am informed, 
has claims on your attention. 



* This seat was built by Sir Jacob Astley, about the year 
1680, and within a few years has been much ornamented 
and improved ; particularly the west front, but not being a 
very moHern building, is still rather in the stile of a neat 
habitable house than elegant ; the chapel, the grand stair- 
case, the ceilings, and many of the rooms are highly finished. 
The park contains between six and seven hundred acres, it 
four miles in circumference, has lately been judiciously orna- 
mented and the great canal made with uncommon difficulty 
and much judgment; which, when properly united with 
wood, will have a fine effect. 

The country round Melton gradually rises for some miles 
to the house, from the top of which there is an extensive 
prospect to the east, south and west ; there is a stair-case 
and door to the roof, which is of lead, and flat. 

This lordship was granted by the Conqueror to William 
de Beaufoe, bishop of Thetford, to be held of him as a 
lay-fee, and in his own right, (with many other) being his 
lord chancellor, &c. and Roger de Lyons held it of the 
bishop, with Anschetel the provost. 

From this Anschetel the provost, descended the family 
of de Melton, who according to the Norman custom assumed 
tjbat name from their lordship, and sometimes wrote them- 



362 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

selves de Constable, from the office and place that they held 
under the bishops of Norwich, by whom they had^ been 
enfeoffed of it. 

The office of constable related as well to affairs of peace 
as to military affairs. The Conqueror seems first to have 
appointed this office : his grand constable or marshal, was 
stiled Princeps Militiae Domus Regis and was hereditary, of 
whose dignity and authority our statutes and histories afford 
many proofs, and many lordships were held under the king 
by virtue of it, and the same was in this family, tr;e office 
appearing to be hereditary. 



GLEANINGS TN ENGLAND. 



LETTER XIX. 



WALSINGHAM, August 30, 1798, 

now, my dear Baron, the country 
begins to lift itself into superior beauty. 
Nature, who had been timid and retired, comes 
suddenly forth, and asserts herself. The utmost 
which she could do upon a flat, assisted by art, 
has been exhibited at the seat of the Walpoles, 
and in the modest scenery that cheered your 
way "to that august mansion. But the smallest 
cottage in the deep vallies, or on the ambitious 
mountains, where the lands rise and fall in 
solemn and sublime diversity, must ever be 
preferred by a pictorial traveller, to the most 
princely structures, and magnificent woods on 
a level surface. 

Indeed, you are now leaving behind all the 



364 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

flats in this direction of Norfqlk, and I must 

admit the opinion of an observer upon it, as 

. 

to the injustice with which it has been de- 
scribed by many of its hasty historians. Most 
parts, except the marsh and fen lands, are 
marked with rising grounds, which, though 
they do not ascend, with the almost presumptu- 
ous daring of sky-top'd Switzerland, carry your 
eye over a rich prospect, frequently of twenty, 
and sometimes thirty miles. 

You will perceive a bold variety mark your 
path, and elevate your view, from the time 
you gain the steep ascent that begins its rise 
from the vale at the foot of Basham-abbey 
a bold variety of ground, indeed, where nature 
grows adventurous; where she swells the hills 
more proudly than she is wont in her Norfolk 
domain, and sinks more abrupt and more pro- 
foundly into her glens. Yet, in this particular 
spot she discovers the nakedness of her land, in 
we respect, more than in some of the most un- 
decorated^ uncheary, and even in the wildest 
parts of her British possessions. 

You will be attracted for a moment by the 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 365 

summits unobstructedly rising before you ; you 
will be refreshed by verdure that invites the 
foot and invigorates the eye but, alas ! where 
is now the wood, the thicket, the hedge-row ? 
where are even the shrubs ? Oh, beauteous 
Nature, prodigal as thou art of all these, in 
thy spring, thy summer, thy autumnal charms, 
why hast thou withdrawn them from WAL- 
SINGHAM ? 

The question will be answered in no common 
way : and I must, on this occasion, be the 
medium of Nature's reply. You will hear on 
the road, my friend, and, indeed, from the 
utmost verge of the country, were you even 
there to begin your inquiries, of a strange, 
distraught being, who turns -night into day, 
day into night who goes to bed when all the 
rational part of the world get up, and who 
rises when they retire to rest. You will be told, 
that in the ceconomy of his houshold he is no 
way absurdly profuse ; yet, that he has suffered, 
and therefore encouraged, for twice ten years, 
a pack of vagabonds in his parish, to cut down, 
burn, and sell the timber, which were of his 



366 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND* 

father's, and his own planting^ that he has 
allowed this felonious enormity to grow from 
bad to worse from breaking up hedges, and 
lopping branches, to the exterminating whole 
nurseries and plantations, of no less value than 
ornament to his estate ; and, indeed, to the 
picturesque beauty of the country that when 
any of these midnight robbers who ought, at 
least, to incur the penalty of a law in our 
country, called the Black Act come in view 
of our midnight wanderer for at the noon of 
night, you will be told, commence his peram- 
bulations he only says, mildly, " take care 
how you get down that tree, or you may hurt 
yourself." 

In addition to all this, you will hear it 
asserted, and very truly, that by these depre- 
dations, he has sustained a loss of twenty thou- 
sand pounds at least ; that, so daring hav,e at 
length become the offenders, strings of boys 
and girls have been seen, in the broad eye of 
day, to bend under the burthen of nurseling 
plants of as tender an age, and smaller than 
themselves while the parents of these children, 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 3&J 

setting the odious example, have been laden 
with whole trees. 

All this you will inevitably hear, Baron ; and 
you will, doubtless, conclude, either that the 
proprietor is, in effect, qut of his mind, or that 
the indignant peasantry, having long groaned 
under his tyranny, or famished under his avarice, 
had formed, themselves into a conspiracy against 
the despotism of the -tyrant, and collected a 
phalanx so powerful as to make the loss even 
of the miser's gold secondary to his dread of 
proceeding against the banditti. You will, per- 
haps, conclude, that some apprehension of 
personal outrage might be added to such an 
attack on property, and that a certain con- 
sciousness of deserving it, is the chief motive 
of thus inverting the order of nature, by 
venturing forth only when timid, or guilty 
things suppose themselves comparatively safe, 
and even then, " treading as if in fear they 
trod." 

The vegetable desolation which you will see 
around you, on entering the domain of this 
singular person, who is still living, might 



308 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

possibly, under the impression of these first 
appearances, lead you to turn back, that you 
may escape the very air which such a wretch 
is permitted to breathe, or you might be 
tempted to pass rapidly through his village, 
were you not to learn which you will from 
every Walsingham villager that this grinder of 
the poor, this tyrant of the rich this -but you 
shall judge of him by chafactefistical anecdotes, 
-for the truth of whkh singular as they must 
appear to every foreigner strange, even as they 
are to us in this country of character, I refer you 
hot only to every inhabitant of Walsingham, 
but almost to every person in this part of Norfolk. 

In my first walk of observation and inquiry, 
the following conversation passed between your 
correspondent and Mr. Jacobs, the landlord of 
a public house immediately fronting the garden 
walls of the above gentleman. 

A handsome seat, my friend, this, and if I 
am to believe report, inhabited by a very ex- 
traordinary person ? 

" Extraordinarily good, Sir for that matter> 
too good !" 



,EANINGS IN ENGLAND. 



869 



That) I should conceive, to be more singular 
still. How is he too good ? y,. 

" Why because he has made almost every 
chick and child of the parish good for nothing. 
And they use him just as if he was as bad a& 
themselves, though he would not hurt a fly. 
Nay, for that matter, I can tell you what 
Happened between him and a fly, in his own 
house. And if you'll step with me as far as 
those iron gates, I'll shew you the very room 
where it fell out." 

We walked together to the place he men* 
tioned a stately railing, according to the ancient 
fashion, opening on a spacious lawn, at the end 
of which stands the" abbey, whose architecture, 
as well as the broad moat that half encircles 
it, resembles such of the country houses of 
England, and the chateaus of Germany, as were 
erected about the beginning of the present, or 
towards the close of the last century. On each 
side of the piece of water is a kind of grove, 
equidistant, and somewhat formal, but in good 
keeping, with the fashion of the house : for in 
those days, as, I think I have before mentioned 
< VOL. iv. B a 



37O CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

to you, the vegetable scenery of this country, 
as well as its buildings, and, indeed, its inha- 
bitants, consulted rather the grandeurs than the 
graces : an evidence of false taste, finely ridi- 
culed by one of our favourite poets : 



" Grove nods at grove,, each ally has its brother, 
And half the platform just reflects the other." 

I really do not believe there are a dozen trees 
on the one side of this grovelet more or less than 
the other, and, certainly, not half the number of 
inches, either in the diameter or circumference 
of the grassplots, and foliage of the same kind, 
stand so exactly parallel that a quarter-master 
might shew them to his raw recruits as, 
an example of soldier-like symmetry; not a 
branch nor arm, or scarcely a leaf but has its 
companion, and assisted by the equal motion of 
the breeze they seem to exchange the salute 
military. 

But the space between the water and the 
wood, on either side, was at the time I surveyed 
them, filled with objects by no means formal ; 
an innumerable, quantity of poultry of all kind* 
were spreading themselves over the lawn, or 



G1EANINGS, IN ENGLAND. 371 

swimming in the moat; dnd I could not but 
express my surprize that the inhabitants of the 
court yard should be suffered to take their pas- 
time in the garden* 

"I 'suppose, Sir," says Jacobs, " you are 
wondering to see so many ducks,, geese, chick- 
ens,, cocks, hens, &c. in the 'Squire's garden; 
but if you had bden here before sunrise, or if 
you should corrie later, in the evening, there 
would be something worth looking at, for then 
the 'Squire gets them all about him by hundreds. 
Ht is not up yet, for I suppose it is not above 
five in the afternoon, in a couple of hours 
though he will begin to think about rising, but 
if he does not come down stairs till ten of 
twelve at night, which is often the case, not 
a fowl of them will roost till they see him * 
The moment he leaves his room- that is it with 
the closed shutters he opens that front door 
and gives his poultry their supper, though he 
does not get even his breakfast till mid- 
night, and sometimes, two or three in the 
morning. Oh! 'twould do your heart good, 
to see the pigeons corne from that dove-house 
B B 2 



372 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

and light upon his hat, shoulders, hands, and 
arms ! and the other creatures that are now 
straying about, run to him fit to break their 
necks; the pullets and chickens fly up to 
perch on him while they peck out of his hand 
or his basket. Then his pigs, his dogs, and 
other animals in the yard get their turn, for he 
goes out at that gate on the right, and gives 
them their breakfast, and all this, in Winter 
and Summer as sure as the day and night goes 
and comes.'* j 

" But you promised me the story of the fly, 
Mr. Jacobs." 

" And I will -be as good as my word, Sir. 
The affair fell out in that parlour to the left, 
when with some other townsman we were 
dining with the 'Squire, who has no more pride 
than ,one of his chickens, and as you shall hear 
presently, not more gall than his pigeons. As 
we were standing just before dinner came in, 
at that very window, we heard a humming over 
our heads, and looking up, saw a fly in a cob- 
web-trap, the spider just at the end of his line, 
balancing away just like one of the tumbling 






GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 373 

men I have seen at our Walsingham Wake. 
He looked just like a little black ball of poison/ 
and in another minute would have darted away, 
and got the poor fly hi his clutches, if the- 
'Squire had not frightened him away with his' 
white handkerchief but only the air of it as 
he waved it about, in this fashion : for though 
he made the web ecod ! and the weaver too, * 
shake and shiver as if they were both in an 
ague fit, he did not break a single thread of 
the fellow's work ; however, it got the fly out of 
her hobble, for down she dropt at the very first 
whisk upon the window seat, flat on her back 
and almost stunned. Almost all this time the 
dinner was standing by itself on the table, and 
there it might have stood for the 'Squire till 
now, if he had not settled the affair, and how 
do you think he managed it ? as sure as you 
are alive, he took her up as soft as if she was his 
kin, then let her lay in his handkerchief as if 
she was on a fine white muslin bed with nice 
cotton sheets. We then went to table : he 
used in those days to dine in Summer even be- 
fore sunset, sometimes so soon as three or four 
1 



374 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

q'clockj-r-and I think I never saw the 'Squire so 
merry, for he is as nice a man, and as full of 
Cleverness, as any in tjie hundred: but in the 
midst of the fun, u.p he gat andean to the win- 
dow, but was back 1$ an instant with the hand- 
kerchief in his hcm$ 5 * a$ the bird is flown,' 
said he^ * I think J 'rnj,y venture to take the 
nest t * -Squire, said 1, the -fly may thank 
heaven you' were at the window T " I suppose, 
he answered, ' every thing that has life wishes to 
live as long is it can,- friend Jacobs, and as so 
many animals die that we may live, it is thei 
least we can do to. save, one or two when we can.' 

" And are there any amongst you any, who 
can do an -injury, or even, an injustice to this 
restorer of the fallen fly? No doubt, his 
benevolent disposition ascends from animals to 
man; from the p/oor reptile you have just men- 
tioned as its object, to such of his fellow-creatures 
as are in distres/;," questioned the Gleaner. 

^Distress, Sir," answered Jacobs, " why 
he never coyJd bear to hear of it or to see it ; 
and, as I t?old you, did not hurt that damn'd 
spider, though for my part, I wish'd his poison- 



GtEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 3/5 

bag taken from his little pod belly, and cram'd 
down his own ugly throat : I love an honest 
fellow, but down with a rogue wherever you 
meet him, say I. Tis a sort of years ago, to 
be sure, since we largess } d * for it was at har- 
vest-tide, in that parlour, else \ should not 
wonder if the rascal was see-sawing upon his 
line, or mending his .nets, or squating in his 
corner, as sly as a bailiff, just when I left him, 
at this minute. But I dare say some imps, as 
black as young devils ancl as wicked, are there 
or thereabouts, for neither rogue nor honest 
personage will the 'Squire harm, not he ; and 
that, Sir, makes me say, he is too good. O, it 
would make your blood freeze or else boil, but 
to think how he has been used for it !<" 

" So I have heard. You allude to the 
devastations committed in his woods and hedges, 
idie theft and plunder of his timber." 

" Woods and hedges ! that is bad enough to 
be sure; for except the small fir-grove at the 



A harvest term in Norfolk* 



376 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

head of yon high -land, and that stands only 
because it is in the hands of a tenant, who. has 
a long lease of his farm; there's not a tree that 
is bigger than a may-pole,, and but very few of 
them on the whole estate. Nay, the people 
have begun upon this wilderness, which I re- 
member as thick and green again as you now 
see it: for that matter, they go into the abbey 
back yard, and carry away just what they like : 
for the devil a dog will he keep as I would 
to snap at their legs, or jump at their throats ; 
and if a servant catches them in the fact and 
speaks to them, their only answer is, ' if the 
'Squire comes to tell us himself, that we should 
not do as we like, . why we will leave off.' 

" And has this reply ever been reported to 
the 'Squire ?" 

" A hundred times, Sir; but what of that? 
He'll not come out if they were to tell him so a 
thousand times a hundred. Pray, Sir, at what 
inn are you ?" 

" The KingVhead, I think, kept by a widow- 
woman." 

" Close to the abbey yard : a, good house, 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

and a good woman, and just lost a good 
husband." 

" I perceive she is in mourning." 
" When you get back, do but s step into 
the 'Squire's back yard, three or four doors 
on the right from the widow's, and you will 
have cause to mourn, as you shall hear. The 
yard is a kind of grove. I remember it sweet** 
some to behold ; it has a good deal of shade 
yet, but a sort more trees lie dead on the 
ground, than are to be seen alive in it ; ay, and 
some of the finest timber in England. But you 
could never guess how they got into the 'Squire's 
back-yard, unless I were to tell you. Why, 
Sir, they were all brought there, at different 
times, either by the 'Squire's own tenants or 
servants when they were returning from plough^ 
cr passing in a waggon or cart. 

" For what purpose, Mr. Jacobs ?" 
" To save them from being carried of and 
sold by the vagabonds in Little and Great 
Walsingham, and, in short, all round the 
countiy, after they had hewn and hacked them 
down. I, myself, Sir, have help'd to draw 



378 GLEANINGS IN 

S^me of them to the abbey with my.own donky, 
and have taken some of the hatchets and axes 
out of the thieves', panels/ and carried them 



o tfee- Squire ?'*'] 









said he upon that eyi4ence ?" 
Z.:$ Said he !", answered Jacobs, hajf grinding 
fcis. teeth " why.h? said tp.Rje. ju$twhat he has 
ofteji -said t*> every-, servant in the abbey, and, 
yideed,. ,tp ajmpst eyery honest map in the 
parish,-^t)iefe ; are some honesj; fellows in spite of 
, Not right, Mr. Jacobs^fer^ he mus- 
: very body the eivilest gentleman you 
saw-r- c Not right;, Mr, Jacobs., that the 
should us^ their axes and hatchets to cut; 
my tijnbe^ but very wypng, Mr. Jacobs, 
you should steal them. It is but commit- 
the s.ame faulj a difF^rent way ; yet one bad 
thing does not expuse another : so, pray, Mr ? 
Jacpbs, make all the haste you can to return 
what you have stolen.' I see, Sir, you look as 
if you did not believe me ; and how the devil 
should you ? I do not think there have ever 
Ipeen such doings as there have at WALSINGHAM 
since the beginning of the world ; at least, 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

since the-, planting of the first tree in Adam's 
garden : but the thing is as true as that those 
ducks are swimming in the moat."* 

But what I have now told you is nothing, to 
the shocking tricks played on his cattle, horses, 
and corn : I suppose you would think I must 
be fibbing were I to inform you that whoever 
has a mind to it goes into his stable,, saddles,. or 
harnesses a horse, and rides, or ploughs with 
him, bringing him home at night, or keeps him 
a week, or a fortnight together, without so 
much as a question being asked by the 'Squire ; 
and what is worse, they not only steal the 
wheat, barley, and other grain, from the field 
when it is sheaved, to save themselves the 



* There are so many circumstances whereon to found dis, 
belief in the account of this very amiable but singular man, 
that although I can, with the mo9t scrupulous veracity, de- 
plare with Mr. SOUTHEY in his entertaining, interesting, and 
elegant " Letters in Spain and Portugal," that I have 
never in the slightest instance enlivened the narrative, by 
deviating from plain truth." I feel it necessary to repeat, 
now my correspondence is preparing for the public, that I have 
represented things, as they are to If seen and heard by any 
man in England \yho chooses to ma^e inquiry. 



38O GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

trouble of cutting it, but they are wicked 
enough to cut off the corn-ears, by whole acres 
before they are half ripe." 

" Good GOD ! what wantonness !" (ex- 
claimed I,) " why this is worse than all the 



rest." 



" Not the worst neither, Sir," (rejoined 
Jacobs,) " there is a tenant of his, an innholder, 
and I hope you will not think I am going to 
tell a lie of him because he is a brother pub- 
lican, but he has not paid rent these nine or 
ten years, and the 'Squire lets him go on just 
the same as I do, who am as sure as quarter- 
day; but what will you say when I tell you 
that the 'Squire sent his servant to say he might 
lessen the debt by supplying the abbey family 
with beer, but for ajl that the second time it 
was sent in, a bill Went with a letter, " to hope 
the 'Squire would not be offended, but times were 
so hard he could not afford to trust, unless one 
barrel was paid for when, another should be 
brought." 

Can that be possible ?" 

" Ay, and worse yet^ for you may see little 



GLEANINGS IN ENGtAND. 381 

boys and girls steal the pease from the very 
troughs, when they cannot carry off the pigs, 
for which the 'Squire has left off hog-fatting, 
for fear of their being starved to death, and is 
now obliged to buy his own bacon ; though, to 
be sure, there are a few old swine in the yard, 
because the 'Squire says they may as well stay 
where they are till they're called for: he 
has always something droll and merry to. say 
upon it, let people do what they will : as you 
must needs think when you hear another of his 
answers about cutting down his trees. " The 
estate was barren, friend, when I came to it, 
and is likely to be barren again." -.3'., 

During the latter part of this discourse, Mrs. 
Jacobs came from the house to tell her husband 
he was wanted, and we soon parted. I re- 
turned to the inn, under sensation and im- 
pression scarce to be described, still wishing to 
discredit, at least, that part of the evidence 
which was brought against the common grati- 
tude of the neighbourhood ; but whatever I 
heard or saw afterwards and from all ranks of 
people, in the progress of several days' sojourn 



381 GLEANINGS IN" 

at Walsirigham, and in various walks and rides 
of observation not only confirmed the details 
which Jacobs had given, but added many 
aggravating circumstances. In particular the 
anecdote of a tenant, who having oinitted to 
pay any thing for the rent of a considerable 
farm, came at last to the abbey with a com- 
plaint to the 'Squire, that so far from thinking 
he could settle arrears he must give up his 
farm, his family being so large he could not 
live on it himself. " Poor Tom! " (said the 
"Squire.,) " that is hard., indeed ; then we must 
go some oilier way to work." * c I do not know 
how that can be, Sir," said the farmer - 
" seeing that I have neither horses, carts, cows> 
nor sheep having sold them all -there's no- 
thing but the land left, and that you may have 
back- and here and there^ mayhap, a half- 
starved hen or turkey, and they may go with 
it." " My poor, poor Tom ! worse and worse," 
(quoth the Squire,) nevertheless, go home to 
your family, and we will see what can be done ; 
if you have no carts or horses / have, and I 
believe the best way to make you pay me is 
now to help you to do it." 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 383 

With these assurances, he was prevailed upon 
to continue in the farm, and from that time to 
that day twelve-month his landlord shared with 
him the use, not only of the promised articles, 
as to cattle and stock., but every instrument of 
husbandry his own servant lent to plough, to 
sow, and : to reap, previously buying for him the 
very seed to put in the ground, and, in short, 
farmed for the farmer. An expression, alas ! for 
human nature, but too literal. It is lamentably 
true, that he was not farming for himself ; for, I 
find, poor Tom succeeded as ill as before, at lea& 
the profits of this eleemosynary labour much 
oftener found its way into the pocket of my 
hostess at the King's-head, and other alehouses 
in the neighbourhood, than into that of the 
'Squire at the Abbey. 

In course of various conversations, however, 
I found that Mr. ****** had once been 
moved gently to remonstrate against axe and 
hatchet-men ; and that was when a banditti of 
them were about to cut down a favourite, and, 
indeed, famous chesnut-tree ; then it was, he 
ventured to signify but still, by a medium 
3 



384 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

" that he could wish they would desist/' In 
answer to which they repeated what they had 
often said before, " rf the 'Squire comes and 
says so to us himself, we wilL" The servant 
carried the answer, the master said nothing more > 
and the tree was cut down. 

My mind had been filling as well with the 
strange things I had heard from Jacobs as with 
the confirming report of others I had encoun- 
tered on the way, and I literally " went forth into 

the fields at even-tide to meditate." But what 

/ 

<Jid those fields present, as I wandered about 
them, without any settled direction ? I followed 
a ruthless guide even the exterminating axe ! 
Unexpectedly the Sun broke out intensely hot, 
and I absolutely panted for the shade. I 
observed some cattle in the same pursuit. A 
clump of trees would have been a real comfort 
to man, and beast. Even the patient cows, with 
their tails twisted, mouths open, and at their 
full unwieldy run, were hunting over the mead, 
for a green covert; while a bull, labouring with 
the heat, and tortured by the flies, was tearing 
up the earth for what none of us could find. 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 385 

I bent my way again towards Walsingham, and 
took refuge in the first cottage I found at the 
outskirts of the village. The peasants were at 
their tea, the rosy children,, equally defying the 
powers of sun or shade, were laden with their 
brown- bread supper- a huge, health -looking 
slice. Perhaps I envied ; I certainly blessed both 
them and their meal : I blessed their hut, and, 
as usual; was soon a part of the humble hous- 
hold. The parents of the family ratified every 
former account respecting the desolation of the , 
woods, and the indifference of the proprietor a*s 
to what became of them. The mother of the 
family allowed, " it was very strange the 'Squire 
should suffer such doings," and ,the father 
loudly reprobated the wickedness of those 
<c who could take advantage of such an easy 
gentleman's temper." I must remark, never- 
theless, I have since heard that both mother and 
father, and also a married son, at a place called 
Snoring, were three of the most active and 
determined loppers and choppers the poor 
tvoodlands had to complain of. 
VOL. iv, C c 



366 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 

On leaving the cot, I fell into some profound 
ruminations respecting the vegetable ruins I had 
been surveying. The very sight of them was 
to me a serious affliction. You know, Baron, 
how much I luxuriate in verdure, and that I 
may be said, without any strain on the metaphor, 
to see feelingly the charms of nature; that 
my heart rejoices to observe a flourishing plan- 
tation, with as sincere, and, perhaps, a more 
.pure delight than its possessor. Knowing this, 
you will judge of what I experienced from a 
view of a, whole dismantled estate, which, indeed, 
was left little more than the green earth. 

To the eye of fancy* the very genius of the 
woods seemed to be seated on a trunk of one 
of the many THOUSAND, (the word is used in a 
literal sense,) many THOUSAND majestic trees 
which were wont to grace and enrich the do- 
main. The licensed, yet merciless robbers have 
scarcely left a shade for the diminutive wren, 
much less a shelter for the way-farer even from 
a passing shower. They have not only hewn 
down, and cast into the fire, whole thriving 
nurseries of oak and fir, planted by Mr. *** 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND* 387 

' s OW n hand, arid trees of nobler growth, 
but have carried their felonious depredations 
even to the hedge-rows, which they have 
stripped of every tree that answered to a poor 
man,, even the trouble of cutting down. In a 
word, the whole estate, a circuit of several miles, 
exhibits, in a natural sense, a mutilated, and 
mangled prospect, once pleasing and profit- 
able ; and, in a moral sense, a yet more melan- 
choly view, of the depravity, the ingratitude, 
and the wantonness of men, when they have 
not the fear of the iron hand of the law before 
their eyes. 

I returned to my inn with the true step of 
profound reflection, a step which our poets, 
treading in the track of each other, have justly 
called " solemn and slow." A character alto- 
gether new in an old world, and even in a part 
of it abounding with original beings of almost 
every possible kind, had displayed itself to my 
view. I knew my mind to be free from the 
deep-rooted incredulity of those stay-at-home 
deciders of what is seen abroad, and who think 
every thing must be false that seems so, par- 

C C 2 



388 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

ticularly if it is incomprehensible to them ; and 
I had so often attested the wonderful diversity 
of nature in all her operations and, perhaps, 
more than any other in the mind of man that 
I could not easily be staggered in my faith. But I 
had unexpectedly met, in an obscure nook of 
the island, a variety of circumstances which I 
feel I should myself have doubted, had they 
been given to me on the credit of any single 
reporter, however respectable. Here was at 
once a complete indifference, pot to say 
triumph, over what every other being in civi- 
lized society, when not absorbed in grief, has 
always considered as Sacred the value, or the 
leauty of their property. I had before heard of 
men who had prosecuted a poor man to the ut- 
most rigour of our law, for breaking a hedge, or 
cutting down a twig, but it had never come 
within my knowledge or belief, that a gentle- 
man, in the possession of a well-wooded domain, 
and of sound understanding, could allow almost 
every tree it had once to boast to be delibe- 
rately cut down, and carried away : and that 
so much as making an inquiry after the 
7 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 38$ 

offenders, or entering into any remonstrance as 
to their past, or present, or future depredations. 

Yet I felt an earnest desire to become per- 
sonally acquainted with so extraordinary a man, 
and from repeated assurances collected in the 
course of the following day, respecting the 
politeness and urbanity with which he received 
strangers, I wrote to entreat the favour of an 
interview, and received an answer about eleven 
o'clock the same evening by his servant, who 
said his master was going to get up, and would 
be glad to receive me at twelve. 

I cannot describe to you the unusual sensation 
on my entering his abbey. It was about a 
quartet past twelve o'clock. From the histo- 
rians of the place, and from the country 
reporters, I seemed to be familiar with him- 
the poor fly, and the story of farmer Tom 
were still in my heart, yet it beat faster, and 
somewhat more anxiously than usual as I 
found myself in his room of receiving com- 
pany I stood amidst a groupc of old family 
picture?. Wines of different sorts were on the 
table, and two glasses and chairs set ready. 



3QO GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

Wax candles were lighted by a servant, who 
informed me " the 'Squire would be down stairs 
presently- in the mean time, Sir," said he, 
there are books and maps, and the last news- 
paper to amuse you." I turned over some of 
these, rather mechanically than with conscious- 
ness ; for the palpitation continued, and assisted 
by the lateness of the hour, the long abbey 
yard I had passed, the sight of the rescued 
timber Jacobs spoke of, and which a lantern 
I was obliged to use shewed me and the 
antique, though hospitable air of every thing 
around, produced a sort of gothic sensation, 
and might have told extremely well in one of 
the magical romances of the day. Had I been 
keeping an assignation with one of the very 
ghosts with which a novelist might haunt this 
abbey I could not have been more awfully 
situated ; and to give a finish to my feelings, 
the bearded ancestors of the family seemed to 
look frowningly at me from their canvas. 

I believe we all make fancy drawings of the 
persons we have long admired, wondered at, or 
wished to see, especially when any singular 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

qualities associate with our ideas of them : and 
as, for the most part we give features and figures 
correspondent to what we have heard or read, of 
their manners or minds, we are, probably, in 
general, more correct than faulty in these por-* 
traitures of the imagination. My anticipated 
lineaments and dimensions of this gentleman, 
however, formed a complete exception to the 
rule, for they failed in every particular. I had 
fashioned him muscular, and corpulent, with a 
projected brow, and somewhat of a misanthropic 
cast of countenance, attributing his seclusion 
and supineness partly to having unfitted himself 
for exercise, and his indifference to the public 
injuries he had sustained, to a secret resentment 
against those who had wronged him, although 
he forbore to complain, or to punish. 

The reverse of this picture was soon made 
manifest, for the original appeared even 
while I was finishing his copy. Mr. ****** 
is between seventy and eighty years of age, 
yet perfectly upright, small, but elegantly 
formed, and of the most engaging countenance. 
His manners are prepossessing, his address easy, 



3Q2 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

and he has nothing that bespeaks the old school 
but his dress, which gave me back the exact 
image of the English gentleman of the last age. 
He was habited in a fawn-coloured suit of 
cloaths, edged with gold,, which., however, from 
the effect of time had taken the cast of silver, 
a binding of the same ornamented his knees, 
a deep chitterlin of rich lace, somewhat yellowed 
by age, graced his bosom, and the deep slash 
sleeves, and high-wrought^ richly embossed 
button of gqod old days, decorated the sleeves 
of his coat. His shoes were curved at the toe, 
and their buckles were such as are now worn by 
pur old gentlemen upon the stage, and, indeed, 
by some young gentlemen at present off the 
stage, for the fashion of times past are, in this 
respect, come round again. His conversation 
is animated, his remarks judicious, his reading 
extensive, and his acquaintance with modern, 
as well as ancient literature by no means incon- 
siderable. Over the whole of his communica- 
tions presides a certain hospitable, and yet , 
unassuming courtesy, that captivates while it 
instructs. Soon after one in the morning the 



GLE'AXINGS IN ENGLAND. 3Q3 

tea equipage was brought, which served for hi$ 
breakfast, and the beverage I should have takerv 
about seven the preceding evening, had I not 
reserved myself for all that might happen on 
an occasion which promised what it performed, 
something very extraordinary. The subjects 
' we discussed were various. We warmed as 
we proceeded. Social topics are interesting. 
I caught from my host the wisdom of 
the past, and endeavoured to remunerate 
him by describing scenes of the present ; the 
middle, and the closing parts of the century 
were thus divided between us. In this kind- 
ling progress I soon forgot that I had passed 
the hour at which I usually had been asleep, 
and that Mr. ****** had but lately risen. 

At length preparations were made for supper, 
and while the table was serving, he took upon 
himself the trouble to shew me every part of 
the abbey, giving me as we passed along its 
ancient history, in the best and clearest language, 
and pointing out to me the most correct sources 
of farther information respecting other anti- 
quities of Walsingham. 



3Q4 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

The servant announced the repast. It was 
his master's dinner, and, of course,, my supper. 
The clock struck the fourth hour of the 
morning soon after we were seated. There was 
a little of every thing, and that little of the 
best, and it may be truly said " he gaily pressed 
and smiled." Thankless and sullen must have 
been the guest, that would not have been 
cheered. It was not till after the Sun had put 
our candles to the blush, and quenched their 
miserable morsels of artificial light in his living 
beams, that I could prevail upon myself to bid 
him good morning, or, let me proudly say, 
that he would suffer me to say farewell. 

On the following night I repeated my visit, 
and renewed my pleasure, A third, and a 
' fourth invitation succeeded, and I could not but 
accept them. In these I had opportunity to 
see him in every point of view that bespoke the 
scholar, and the gentleman. But not a sentence , 
nor a circumstance at any time came forth 
that denoted the wonderful things the almost 
phaenomena that were reported of him without- 
doors. I was more than once tempted to Iea4 






GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 3Q5 

the subject that way, but not perceiving him 
disposed to follow, it would have been rudeness 
to persist, and his silence struck me as a new 
trait in a new character. 



rttlUMJS 



3Q6 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND 






LETTER XX. 



WALSINGHAM, Seft. 4, 17Q8, 

1 ET the force of the facts was by 
no means diminished by his silence; every 
hour of my sojourn here has increased their 
energy. Persons of every character had 
something to add to the strength of former 
accounts. When, however, I heard that the 
amiable man under consideration had paid five 
hundred pounds as the forfeit of refusal to 
act as sheriff for the county, rather than engage 
in a situation that might make him an eye- 
witness, if not an accessary, in the punishment 
of crimes even to death ; -and that while he was 
in commission of the peace, as a magistrate, 
many instances are on record wherein there has 
been the most severe conflict betwixt his sense 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 3g? 

of justice, and his feeling of compassion : when, 
moreover, I had myself watched his conduct to 
the domestic animals that surrounded him, and, 
if you will permit me so to express myself, 
observed their conduct to him : when I saw 
every living thing under his protection approach 
towards, instead of receding from him while I 
was myself unseen, and unsuspected and when 
I heard his servants speak of him with uniform 
gratitude and respect, and the peasants of the 
country declare, like his tenant Jacobs, that 
he was " too good," with very few excep- 
tions to this ' report and those bearing the 
marks of malignity and disappointment, rather 
than of truth when I considered all this, I no 
longer laboured to discover that the motive for 
his thus seeming to disregard what men in 
general are so tenacious of, must originate in a 
principle of virtue, even while it sanctions a 
vice. The cause is honourable to his nature, 
though the effect is injurious to society. I 
scarcely know how to express myself, dear 
Baron : the circumstance is new ; and rnethinks 
there should be a new form of words, or, at 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

least, a better arranger of old ones than your 
correspondent to express it, without incurring the 
censure of a paradox. It is, notwithstanding, clear 
to my mind, however I may have embarrassed 
the language, that his nature can endure neither 
to be principal nor abettor in giving pain or 
sufferance, even to those whom his good sense 
must inform him abundantly deserve it ; and 
that were he once to appear, in the character of 
a prosecutor, and pursue a detected culprit to 
the extremity of the law, his own private misery 
would far exceed his sense of the service he 
would thereby do to the public. ^,i 

I by no means presume to offer this as a 
general justification of such kind of lenity. I 
am aware it would confuse and disorder the 
community beyond all reparation. I only 
suggest it in defence of a mind constructed 
with peculiar softness, and from a wish to re- 
present him to a number of his friends who I 
know, love and honour him, yet who seem to 
want a vindication, an explanation of the 
only part of a character that stands in need 
of it. 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

Having now finished my sketch of the most 
prominent object in Walsingham, and one 
which would certainly be considered as deserving 
to stand very forward on the canvas in any part 
of the world I can conscientiously pass on to 
other matters deserving your attention. 

In a former letter, you remember., , I promised 
you more particulars of our august dame of 
WALSINGHAM ; of whom, wishing to pay, her 
all possible homage, I have been sedulous to 
collect whatever has been said to her honour 
that merits notice, though not the hundredth 
tythe of the marvellous circumstances which 
tradition has told. For in our days of darkness 
and superstition, when priests and monks ruled 
not only the consciences but the purses of the 
English Laity, " they who had not made a 
pilgrimage and an offering at the shrme of the 
blessed Virgin of this place were looked upon as 
impious and irreligious." 

Now for it then ! 

So great was the fame of this idol or image 
of the Lady of Walsingham, that foreigners 
of all nations came on a pilgrimage to her, 

2 



40O GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND* 

insomuch that the number of her devotees and 
worshippers., seemed to equal those of the 
Lady of Loretto in Italy ; and what my 
friend will deem much better, the town of Little 
Walsingham owed its chief support and main- 
tenance to the devotional offerings which were 
paid to this great personage. Of the* royal 
visitors, our third Henry appears to have done 
homage .to her, March 24, in the 26th year of 
his reign ; his precept enjoining all who held 
in capite, to meet him on the octaves of Easter, 
at Winchester, on an expedition into Gascoign, 
being dated here as above ; and what expedition 
could have the hope to prosper, unless her 
Ladyship was disposed to assist the cause ? 

Next in the princely procession was the first 
EDWARD ; who was here on January* the '8th, in 
his Qth year, as appeared by the date of a patent 
for the repair of London-bridge; and again, in 
his 25th year, on the Purification of the Virgin; 
and his successor was also here, October the 
th, in his Qth year. 

In the 35th of Edward II. John de Mont- 
fort, duke of Bretagne in France, came and 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 401 

had the king's liberate to the treasurer and 
chamberlains of the Exchequer,, to deliver .9 
for the expences of his journey to Walsingham 
and back to London : and in the said year, the 

duke of Anjou had licence to visit the shrine 

v * ' ' *' 

of St. Thomas a Becket of Canterbury. 

David Bruce, king of Scotland, had in the 
38th year of the said king, a protection to come 
to Walsingham with thirty horse ; and his queen 
Margaret, made a vow to visit also St. Thomas 
of Canterbury. 

Moreover, ISABEL, countess of Warwick, 
.in 143Q, bequeathed her tablet with the image 
-of our Lady, to the church of Walsingham ; 
also to the Lady there^ her gown of alyz cloth 
of gold, with wide sleeves, and a tabernacle of 
silver like in the timbre to that of our Lady of 
Caversham. 

HENRY the VII mentions in his will, that 

he had ordered an image of silver, and gilt, to 

be made and offered up and set before the 

Lady of Walsingham : and also a like image for 

St. Thomas of Canterbury. 

The notorious HARRY the VIII, in his 2d 

VOL. iv. D D 



402 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

year, soon after Christmas., rode here; and in 
the said year, May 14, as appears in a MS. of 
payments, by the keeper of the privy seal, 
6s. 8d. were then paid to Mrs. Garneys, for the 
king's offering to her, and signed by the king's 
hand at Walsingham ! 

Queen CATHERINE his wife, during the 
king's absence in France, in his 5th year, came 
and returned thanks to the Lady, for the great 
victdfyovel- the Scots, at Hoddonfield, Septem- 
ber 9, 1513. 

Nay, ' Spelman says, that when he was a 
"youth, if was commonly reported, that Henry 
tfie VIII walked 'baref6ot from the town of 
Bashamtotrie chapel of the Lady, and there 

\> O^-STsdlil ~ " 

presented her With a necklace of very great 

^ * ""^5^1 ** V ^O "'''""it ol n f ' ' 

~ value; '" with a view, ;" perhaps/' says Spelman, 

" to moderate the resentment of the Virgin 

~wKeA ij he'' thought fit," as he did soon after, " to 

'banish ~tier from her monastery and to pull it 

^owi^Tor 3 lie was so sensible of her wonderful 

goodness, how ready she was to remember small 

favours, and godlike to forget great injuries, 

'thaf.onliis death-bed he bequeathed his soul to 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 403 

her: but whether his executors disposed of it 
strictly according to his will and testament, is 
not a point altogether certain, because, I be- 
lieve, they fulfilled it in no other article. You 
are sufficiently conversant with the history of 
that Monarch to set a due value on the Royal 
legacy : at any rate, you will allow it wanted 
a little -purification, and was therefore very 
properly bequeathed to a Saint. 

Queen CATHERINE in her will, desires that 
five hundred masses should be said for her soul, 
and that a person should make a pilgrimage to 
our Lady at Walsingham, and distribute two 
hundred nobles in charity upon the road. The 
amiable though outraged mind of Catherine, 
gives every hope, that without any such 
homage to the image, her charitable spirit 
would be acceptable and ascend to the veritable 
GOD, to whose mercy we may trust even the 
ill-assorted soul of her lord the king, more 
safely than to a myriad of idols. 

So superstitious, so weak and credulous were 
the commonalty, that they believed as they 
were then imposed upon and taught the Galaxy, 



404 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

or, - what is called in the sky, the Milky- 
Way, was appointed by Providence to point 
out the particular place and residence of this 
Virgin,, beyond all other places, and was 
thereupon,, generally, in that age, called Wai- 
gingham- WAY ; and I have heard old people in 
thb^county so distinguish it. 
-Among the innumerable miracles that were 
ascribed to her, accept what follows: On the 
north' side,b at; which yc&i enter the close of the 
.priory* ywa& ,a very low and narrow wicker-door, 
through which it was difficult for any one to 
pass on foot, being, as an old MS. says, " Not 
past an elne hye*. and three guarters.in bredttu" 
,And/a certain Norfolk/ knight, Sir Ralph 
Boutetourt, armed cap-a-pee and on horseback, 
being pursued by a cruel. -enemy and in the 
utmost danger of being taken, made full speed 
for this gate, and invoking the Lady for hi 
.deliverance, he immediately found himself and 
his horse within the close and sanctuary of the 
priory in a safe asylum, and. so "fooled his 
enemy" . This is said to have happened in the 
year 1.3 LI. A ,nienw>rial of it was engraven 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 405 

on a plate of copper., with the effigies of the 
knight, his horse, See. nailed on the gate of the 
priory, and was read by Erasmus; who ob- 
serves, that there was preserved one joint of 
a finger of St. Peter, as large as that of the 
Colossus at Rhodes ! 

But, alas ! this so famous image of the La4y, 
was in the 30/ of Henry the Fill brqught by . 
the Lord High Chamberlain Cromwell, to 
Chelsea by London, and there publicly burnt ! 
No doubt she was first beheaded. Henry, you 
remember, was quite in the habit of decapi- 
tating his idols ; but all for conscience' sake 
as, no doubt, was the motive of this noble act. 
You observe, that in the second year of his reign, 
he went barefoot from Basham to Walsirigham, 
with an offering of the rich necklace, then 
threw the sacred image into the fire. I cannot 
find any account of what became of the neck- 
lace. The Lord High Chamberlain of the day, 
Thomas Cromwell, carried the image from this 
town to Chelsea, a village in the neighbourhood 
of London, and saw it, by the royal order, 
committed to the flames ; and if you choose, 



406 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

you may believe that the pious Monarch, 
deeming the necklace polluted by the wearer, 
disdained to receive it back, so directed that it 
should be consumed with the image. - 

The shrine of. the Virgin is splendidly de- 
scribed by Erasmus who had been on the spot. 
The church is beautiful, but the Virgin dwells 
Hot in it; out of veneration and respect, that 
honour is granted to her son. She has, however, 
so contrived as to be on the right hand of her 
son ; but neither in that doth she live, the build- 
ing being not yet finished, says Erasmus. In 
this church there is a small chapel of wood, 
into which the pilgrims were admitted on each 
side at a narrow door ; there was but little or no 
light in it, but. what proceeded from wax tapers, 
yielding a most pleasant and odoriferous smell ; 
but, " if you look in, you will say it is a seat of 
the Gods, so bright and shining it is all over, 
-with jewels, gold and silver." Blomfield 
observes, that a Canon resident always attended 
at the .altar, to receive and take care of the 
offerings. The Lady was patroness both of the 
abbey and priory. 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 407 

It appears, likewise, that the chief Prior had^ 
the second-best of every animal in the parish, 
and if there was but one, why he had that. 

I am just come from inspecting ( the remains 
of the building of the abbey. They consist of 
a large portal or gate-house at the west en- 
trance ; the east window of the chapel is a 
richly ornamented arch, upwards of sixty feet 
high, . built in the reign of Henry the VII, 
the old one being pulled down; the refectory, 
or eating-house, entire, seventy-eight feet long, 
and twenty-seven broad; the walls twenty-six 
feet and a half high the measures taken within 
side. There are a good west window and stone 
pulpit in it; the whole building is in good 
preservation, twelve columns with gothic arches, 
and, part of the old cloisters, evidently built 

> 't^ rx-vi- 'JW * 

before the last chapel. 

Buck, in a plate published in 1738, and 
dedicated to the present proprietor, has taken 
away the roof in order to make it appear in the 

V j 

print more picturesque. 

The length of the cloister, which was 

..square, was fifty-four' paces. The length of 
1 ; r 5 7 $ 



408 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

the chapter-house twenty paces,, the breadth 
ten : the old abbey wall, was near a mile in cir- 
cuit, and is yet entire in many parts ; also a 
stone bath, with steps descending into it, and two 
uncovered we'lls, called " the wishing wells." 
Of the virtue of the last, great things are said ; 
as indeed, might be well expected, when the 
devotees to the Lady of Walsingham were 
taught to believe/ that whomsoever was per- 
mitted to drink of these waters, might obtain 
their wishes " sans fee" 

Many of the wonders of these miraculous 
wells might be recorded for you, but the com^ 
ments of the Sage who told them to rne, 
Mr. ****** Void Gardener is, I hope 
a curiosity in store for you. Though half deaf 
and not a little lame, he has good promise 
of yet longer existence, and each domestic of 
Walsingham abbey being a tenant at willy and 
I dare anticipate, will, if survivor, have more 
even than a master's life-interest in the estate : 
you will, therefore, probably, see as curious a 
Gardener of as curious a garden, as you can 
ever expect to meet in this world of curiosities 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 4QQ 

an-d if, on your- arrival, the poor fellow should 
no longer be a moveable, you will find him a 
fixture. In the meantime, I will not withhold 
from you a little discourse that passed between 
us at the wells. " If you are for a wish, Sir, 
now is your time : and they do say, that you 
may have just what you will; though, for my 
part, I have been wishing here these thirty 
years, and have not got my wish yet." 

" That is hard indeed, Mr. Gardener, seeing 
that you live at the fountain-head." 

" Very good for bad eyes, I believe, master, 
but not much in them to help us out of bad 
luck : though a pair of lasses who came a- 
wishing here last Summer, and dipt their pretty 
faces into them, were here again in the beginning 
of this season, and told me that both had got 
what they wanted ; and whether the well-water 
had any thing to do with it or not, so as they' 
had their wishes, you know, Sir, it was the same 
thing, 'specially as they gave me a shilling a 
piece, because they said, funnily enough, 
methought, I had help'd them to their wants 
and wishes." 



410 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

" Still you could not succeed for yourself, 
my poor fellow. But that is not singular. The 
greatest prophets, fortune-tellers and magicians, 
who have predicted such mighty matters for 
others, can seldom do more than keep them- 
selves from starving. Even a witch,* you must 
have heard, hardly ever got enough to buy her 
a new broomstick, after she had worn out the 
old one to the stumps." 

" But, perhaps, you do not believe in the 
power of witches any more than you do in 
your wishing wells." 

" Under favour, Sir, I do not." 

" Is it fair to inquire into any of your own 

... .: .. 

wishes, Mr. Gardener?'' 

sometimes I wish, Sir, thajL I could 



* " A witch," says the late ingenious Mr. Grose, in his 
short account of popular superstitions, " is almost univer- 
sally a poor decrepit superannuated woman; yet we do not 
find that in consequence of her wicked compact, she enjoys, 
much of the good things of this world, but still continues in 
abject penury." This, however, is a subject I shall resume 
when 1 take you into the witching parts of England. 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 411 

get the buzzing out of this ear, that I might 
not be so deaf, and I grow worse every year ; 
then again, I have wished I could bring this 
hip about, and yet I am lamer than ever ; and 
lastly, which is worse than all, I have wished 
a hundred times, the 'Squire would let this yard 
and wilderness be kept in the trim it used to be, 
and that he would get somebody to trim the 
thieves that rob him of all they can lay hold of, 
but no such good luck. Why, as sure as you 
are alive, Sir, they come now into, the yard and 
garden in broad day, knowing master is safe 
in bed, and carry off what comes to hand, 
without taking any more notice of me than if I 
was a dead thing: and a dead thing I don't 
doubt but they would soon make of me, if I 
was to say much to them. A pure good man 
a right good master and won"t harm a worm :- 
Pity, an't it, Sir, he should let them go on 
thus. Well, it's no use to talk to him ; he's 
fast a-sleep, I suppose now, and GOD bless 
him! its some comfort though, there is little 
or nothing left for the rogues to take, without 
they begin *upoi\ tji garden trees here, which, 



/M2 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

I dare say, they will, when they have cleared 
the abbey-yard of the fell'd and standing timber 
now in it, 

- That I might not seem to throw myself out of 
the way of fortune, I took a draught of th? 
water out of the wishing tumbler, which the 
good gardener kept in a little nook of the wall, 
and wisJid that master and servant might 
have health and happiness till I saw tfyt'in 
again. 

The town of WALSINGHAM has a good 
market, stands on the banks of a nameless river 
which runs into the sea below STIFKEY, at about 
six or seven miles' distance, and one of its most 
delightful rides, is to the last-named village. 
This recommendation goes strengthened to you 
by various travellers, particularly Arthur Young, 
who says, what I found delightfully true, ^ that 
the ride from WARHAM by STIFKEY, is through 
a most picturesque country ; the road runs on 
the brow of the hill looking down on STIFKEY 
vale. The vale, which is composed of mea- 
dows of the finest verdure, winds in a very 
beautiful manner from out of a thicket pf woody 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 41 3 

mclosures, and retires behind a projecting hill ; 
an humble stream glides through it, and adds a 
cheerfulness, which water can so well. confer." 
The hills ascend boldly before you, and though 
they are bare of wood, that defect is compen- 
sated by the thick mclosures, in which the vil- 
lage is scattered, forming with its church in a 
dip of the hill, and that of Blakeney above it, 
in a piouder situation, a complete picture. 

The hall, or manor-house, now occupied at 
present by Mrs. Buck, the tenant of the farm, 
is the stately ruin of a large and noble structure, 
built by Sir Nicholas Bacon, in the reign of 
queen Elizabeth ; whose arms and date, 1604, 
are on the gate-way. The house is situated in 
the bottom of a deep and gloomy, vale, sur- 
rounded with the high and steep hills just men- 
tioned ; a languid stream runs close by its south 

front, environed with, a few tall trees, which 

add not a little to the pensive appearance of the 
KFiL I: Mir silt ',^.?lb^^M; ; : if y ( : '';if ' ".?^v/ i!03hr|w; 

whole scene. 

".' \ : . . ' . . 

The west front, with two embrasured towers, 

, 

is more uniform than most houses of the same 

age. The gate-way introduced you to a spaci- 

. - x ' r 



'414 GLEANINGS $T ENGLAND. 

ous area, of which the main building formed 
the west and north, and the gardens and offices, 
with high walls, the east side. 

The church, dedicated to St. John the Bap- 
tist, stands on the higher ground, a little north 
of the hall, as 'does the parsonage, a neat and 
commodious dwelling, now occupied by the 
rector. The present Marquis Townshend re- 
sided here some time,,' after his return from 
Ireland, where, as has been already noted, he 
had presided as Lord Lieutenant, with the 
greatest reputation and dignity for many 
years. 

The first three miles from WALSINGHAM on 
the way to HOLT, continue to shew the progress 
of the hatchet, and the boundaries of the estate 
of Mr."******, are marked so accurately by 
that fell conveyancer, that you take measure of 
them for a full league, on both sides the road, 
whereon you are left with scarce the shelter of 
a hedge, much less of a tree, the truth of which 
I might justly say, a forest of stumps evince. 
You know your return to foliage, the exact point 
at which the' spoilers have been constrained to 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

check their course.' The traveller, and Nature 
herself are relieved by the change. 

I stop in a little road- side glen of Oaks on the 
left, about a mile from the first village belong- . 
ing to Sir George Chad, to enjoy the alteration. 
I have given the rein to my horse, who in the 
midst of the shaded grass, which has still some 
of the morning dew upon it, seems to luxuriate 
in the change. 

We will now set off mutually refreshed 
he better able to carry me to new scenes and 
objects, and I more disposed to explore and de- 
scribe them. 

I need not request you, or any traveller, but 
a blind one, to pause when he has gained the 
summit of a little rising in the road, about a 
mile of HOLT. The prospect from thence will, 
as one of our bards boldly expresses it, 

- - ' ..' . . AJ 31 

" Take captive the wild motion of the eye" 

:P-v v 

by a thousand pictorial attractions. The se& 
and grounds of Mr. JODRELL the variegation 
of wood, pasture, and corn-fields, on the up- 
lands to the left, and of the church ; its round 
I 



4l6 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

tower, the house and gardens of Mr. Kurd, 
Mr. Ouse, and, indeed, of the whole pretty 
village, with the refreshing sight and sound of 
the mill-water below, will amply reward your 
attention ; the rather, if you come from WAL- 
SINGHAM, to which, for the wide-wasting circum- 
stances already detailed, it forms a very striking 
contrast. What that lordship of Mr. ******'s 
was antecedent to its honours being put to the 
axe this is ; and though, in both, the rise and 
fall of the ground are. alike happy, the manor of 
Mr. JoDRELt serves only to display the outrage 
committed on the other more lamentably. Let 
me recommend to you to take a retrospective 
view of this landscape, half . a mile after you 
have past its front. Stop at an opening in the 
road about that distance from the village, oppo- 
site a detached cluster of oaks, to your left, and 
it will be still better if you are upon a residen- 
tiary horse, you may throw his bridle at full 
length on his docile neck at the gate, which 
you will find precisely in this place, and he may 
entertain himself one way, with the herbage 
within his reach, while you arejregaled another 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 4*7 

or, if you are disposed to cross the adjoining 
fields, and ascend the hill to its summit, you 
will be yet more gratified. I stood charm- 
bound. I penciled what I now retrace with the 
pen >and I defy any one, who has but a relish 
of the painter or poet, the lover of nature, of 
any lover; or even the cool-headed, and 
quiet-hearted man, who has plain good sense 
though he admits not enthusiasm, but whose 
eye is a fair medium betwixt Painter and Poet- 
not to be delighted " to the top of his compass" 
But, notwithstanding I have here brought a 
middle man into this argument, I may be 
suspected to have been influenced by the en- 
thusiastic love I profess, and which you know 
I really feel, for the beauties of Nature. I dare 
permit you to call in the most plain prose ist you 
please, as a judge, and have nothing to fear 
from his sentence, while I pronounce the spot on 
which the seat of Mr. JODRELL is placed, as, one 
of the most lovely in England, -considering its 
extent. In proof of which assertion, I shall 
bring the terrace, the varieties of sea and land- 
views the sudden shutting out of society, so 
VOL. iv, E a 



418 v GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

that you are left, as it were, alone in the vast 
creation, the abrupt discovery of the peopled 
world then by a few steps, your second retreat 
from, or return to, human kind, and its busy 
occupations the invitations to solemn musing 
which steal upon you, as you find yourself 
insensibly enveloped in, literally, a grove of 
ivy; and the disposition you feel to indulge 
gayer thoughts as you disembower from thence 
into brighter foliage, amidst the inspiration of 
flowers, your ideas expanding like the blos- 
soms, whose tints you seem to borrow, and 
weave into, as well as colour, your thoughts and 
sensations ; Hence, I conceive, the Bard, 
and the Painter, derive their most vivid hues : 
and it is, I should imagine, from such real 

scenes, charming the senses, and touching the 
k. 

soul it is from the magic force of such ori- 
ginals immediately under the eye, . and at the 
heart that we have copies of Nature, second 

' r I ^^ 

in grace and beauty only to their originals. 

Such copies may be taken at Bayfield, and I 

can venture to promise your Genius, that the 

'-door of the mansion will be opened to you 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 41 Q 

by Hospitality, and that " as a stranger," you 
will be welcomed as a guest. 

A provincial history speaks of the picture of 

y 

a Tortoise in the manor-house, with the fol- 
lowing inscription : 

" This tortoise, in 1085, was brought by 
Mr. Robert Swallow from Smyrna to Bayfield, 
and in July, 1686, given to John Jermy, Esq. 
It yearly, in November, went under ground : 
there laid and slept till the latter end of March. 
In May, she made a hole in the middle of a 
gravel-walk, most open to the sun, and therein 
usually laid nine eggs, but never produced any 
young, having no commerce with a male. She 
was found dead in the earth in April, 1783." 

The beautiful little village, however, which, 
both at the foot of Bayfield and at the approach 
to HOLT, forms so important, and so lovely a 
part of the enchanting scenery, is annoyed by 
one intruder. 

My friend, there is not in the round of vice, 
any thing more baneful to the reason, dignity, 
and every other sublime distinction of man, 
than a virtue broke from its proper bound, 

E E 2 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

even the noblest and the best an over- 
charged, and intemperate Idea of devotion. It 
is the lawless meteor of the soul, that, rushing 
from its sphere, sets the little globe of man on 
fire : it consumes whatever it approximates, and 
is as far from the true, the pure, and the 
attempered religion of a benign Redeemer, and, 
~I humbly hope I aril not presumptuous in 
adding as distinct from the ^worship which 
Religion's GOD requires, as the burning flame 
of a wild irregular comet, which though for 
wise rfeasdrts, it is permitted to affright the air 
as the terrestrial meteor just spoken of does the 
earth, and the blessed, and blessing orb, which, 
with & fix'd and steady radiance, a permanent 
principle of warmth, animation, and glory- 
enlivens, and enlightens the universe. 

Hallowed, thrice hallowed be every pure 
aspiration. Sacred, on that ground, be the 
worshipped feather, the idolized stone, and the 
adored image, of whatever materials it may be 
formed- The motive that deified it, and that 
bends before it the knee of the untutored, and 
humbles the spirit of the unguided, shall give it 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 421 

lustre, even in the eyes of the illumined 
Christian, and, I doubt not, of the Christian's 
GOD. 

But can philanthropy or pity can even 
Christianity itself, my dear Baron, with all its 
wondrous store of charities, forbear a sigh, or 
tear, to reflect, that, at the close of the eighteenth 
century, the best emotions of the human soul, 
springing, I dare aver, in general, from the 
most pious impulses, should be carried to an 
excess which dethrones all the faculties, the 
power, and the majesty of that soul ? emo- 
tions which destroy at once both the means and 
the ends of religion ? Does not an evil of this 
giant stature grow out of the gloomy, and 
terrific devotion, which is substituted for one 
of meekness, benevolence, and joy ? 

The Father of all true religions forbid that 
the spirit of toleration should ever be restrained ! 
GOD forbid! that, in this country more espe- 
cially, the liberty of praying to the Great 
Bestower, each member of the community, 
according to what he feels most consonant 
to the sentiment by which he is moved, and 



422 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

to what he hopes may be most acceptable 
to the Power whom he supplicates, should 
ever be violated. Be religious liberty the 
most distinguished, and most appreciated, as 
it must ever be the most sacred part, of British 
freedom ! would to heaven it were so through- 
out the world would it were the charter of 
the whole universe ! But is it not deeply to 
be deplored that in almost every quarter of the 
civilized earth, there should more or less prevail 
an idea, which, by torturing particular passages, 
or expressions in the holy volume of Faith, 
from their true import, our very nature is debased, 
and the figure and form which we are allotted 
to wear, made lower even than the lowest orders 
of creatures, which are said by the very same 
scriptures, to be put in subjection under our 
feet ? Weak, ineffectual, frail, and in every 
breath we draw dependent, unquestionably we 
are but what wise, or pious purpose is to be 
answered, or how is the great work of penitence, 
or of peace to be promoted, by our being 
represented as the " Mrs of hell!" and that, to 
make us heirs of heaven, we must be " snatched 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 423 

from the arms of the devil/' or come to a 
pitched battle with Belzebub, until, 

" Though devils rage, and hell assail, 
We cut a passage through." 

Or, what good can ever be proposed, what pious 
principle established, by thus furiously holding 
out dark images of our " contemptible/' and 
perishable state, and often in filthy, sometimes 
even Indecent language ? thus degrading in- 
stead of exalting the prime work on earth, of 
Him who made us the creatures of his hands, 
thus opprobriously implicating even the Creator? 
Such images, however, will be seen publicly 
displayed in various fugitive poems, in songs, 
hymns, and prayers not far from Bayfield-Hall, 
and in too many other parts of England. 
Johnson imputed the great success which at- 
tends the religionists, to whom I here allude, to 
their expressing themselves in a plain and 
familiar manner, which, he thought, the only 
way to do good to the common people, and 
which clergymen of genius and learning ought 
to do from a principle of duty, when it is suited 



424 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

to their congregations ; a x practice for which 
they will be praised by men of sense. To insist, 
says the Doctor, against drunkenness as a crime, 
because it debases Reason, the noblest faculty 
of man, would certainly be of no service to the 
common people ; but to tell them that they 
may die in a fit of drunkenness, and shew them 
how dreadful that would be, cannot fail to 
make a deep impression. It seems to have been 
the opinion of this great man, that the esta- 
blished Clergy in general did not preach plain 
enough ; and that polished periods and glitter- 
ing sentences flew over the heads of the com- 
mon people, without any impression upon their 
hearts. Something might be necessary, he 
imagined, to excite the affections of the com- 
mon people, who were sunk in languor and 
lethargy, and therefore^ he supposed that the 
new concomitants of what we call methodism 
might probably produce so desirable an effect. 
The mind, like the body, he N conceived, de- 
lighted in change and novelty, and even in 
religion itself courted new appearances and 
modifications. Whatever, therefore,, might be 



GLEANINGS IX ENGLAND. 425 

thought of some methodist teachers, he said, 
he could scarcely doubt the sincerity of that 
man who travelled nine hundred miles in a 
month and I could name many virtuous men 
who have exceeded this the excellent Mr. 
Wesley was one, who preached twelve times a 
week ! no adequate reward, merely temporal, 
could be given for such indefatigable labour. 

The general sincerity of this sect I have fully 
admitted ; nor do I hesitate to approve the 
unlaboured manner, and the conversation-style* 



* An apt, and in many respects beautiful, illustration of 
this occurs in the village-discourses of a late minister of the 
Dissenting congregation in Cambridge Mr. ROBINSON* 
who, like his favourite Calvin, answered well to the cha- 
racter given of that celebrated Theologian by Scaliger, who 
pronounced him to be " Solidus theologus, et dot^tusy* stjli 
sat purgater. ***** ///<? literas sacras tractavit, ut tractan-, 
d& sunty werey tnquam et pure y et simpliciter fine ullis argu* 
mentationibus scholastlcis." 

The subject is the beauty and advantage of Morning Ex- 
ercise : and so close does he bring the domestic imagery 

* " A solid and learned Theologian, his style is sufficiently chastened 

he handled the sacred writings as they ought to be handled ; I mean with 
an eye to truth, with purity, and with simplicity, without any scholastic 
reasonings." 



426 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

of delivery in which they frequently begin their 
effusions., whether studied or spontaneoiis ; al- 



under the eye, and so in unison is it with the train of thought 
I have been led into, that one might believe the writer had 
luxuriated with me in the landscape of Bayfield, and joined 
my regret, at the dark shadows wjiich are thrown upon the 
village below, 

" It is in the morning, more particularly, that the ox 
knoiveth his o^ner y and the ass his master's crib. Then, if 
ever, man feels himself the monarch, and to him who rises 
first, all domestic animals pay their homage. One winds 
and purs about him, another frisks and capers and doth all but 
speak. The stern mastiff and the plodding ox, the noble 
horse and the harmless sheep, the prating poultry and the 
dronisll ass, all in their own way express their joy at the 
sight of their master; he is a god to them, for the eyes of all 
rwalt on him) and lye giwftB them their meat in their season. 
Let us observe how much these creatures contribute to our 
ease and comfort through life ; let us remark that we owe 
them all they look to us for; let fcs acknowledge the debt, 
and our inability to discharge it without the supplies of Pro- 
vidence ; let us address our prayers and praises to that good 
Master in heaven, whose stewards we have the honour to be ; 
let us lay up for this great family, who have neither store- 
Ixmse nor larn ; let us supply them with a liberal hand ; and 
for wisdom and prudence to perform all these duties, let us 
resolve with the psalmist, My voice shah thou hear in the 
morning^ O Lord. In the morning will I derect my prayer 
unto thee> and nuill look up. 

ft When man walks abroad in a morning, every sense is 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 427 

though I must notice that they frequently sink 
into the mean, while they are sedulous to pre- 
serve the familiar ; yet, I have to lament that 
they too seldom continue in this simplicity, either 
of argument or expression, but work themselves 
gradually up from moderation to vehemence, 
both of gesture and tone, and some times, by a 



feasted, and the finest emotions of an honest and benevolent 
heart are excited. Above, the spacious canopy, the taber- 
nacle, or tent, for the sun, in a thousand clouds of variegated 
forms, glowing with colours in every conceivable mixture, 
skirted and shaded with sulky mists, afford a boundless track 
of pleasure to the eye. Around, the fragrant air, perfumed 
by a variety of flowers, refreshes his smell. He snufFs the 
odour, and tastes, as it were, in delicate mixtures the sours 
and the sweets. The village pours forth its healthful sons, 
each with his cattle parting off to his work, with innocence 
in his employment, a ruddy health in his countenance, and 
spirits and cheerfulness in his address, that make him an ob- 
ject of envy to a king. Here the sly shepherd's boy surveys 
and plots for his flock, and there the old herdman tales and 
talks to his cattle, and loves, patting their flanks, to chant 
over the history of every heifer under his care. And have 
I only nothing to do in this busy scene : have I nothing to 
say among so many voices ? Am I a man, and have I no 
pleasure in seeing the peace and plenty, the health and hap- 
piness of my fellow-creatures ? Have .1 no good wishes for 
them ? O Lord, in the morning will I direct my prayer unto 
thee^ and will cheerfully LOOK ur." 



428 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

sudden spiritual jerk, bound up from the still 
small voice of persuasive remonstrance and good 
sense, to anathemas and reprobations of them- 
selves, and rhapsodies to GOD, are piled moun- 
tain high, making Ossa, indeed, " like a 
wart !" For the sincerity, however, even of 
these paroxysms, I give credit, in by far the 
greater part of the auditory. I have seen, not 
remote from the spot whence these reflections 
have just been drawn, the most unequivocal 
testimonies of genuine feeling I have seen it, 
my friend, in the scalding tears that have de- 
luged the cheeks of youth, and of age, in the 
uplifted eye, that turning abhorrent from the 
wickedness of the creature looks to the mercy 
of the Creator, in the now pallid, and now 
crimson flushes of a distorted countenance 
and I have heard its voice, rising from the first 
agitated sigh, to the last distracted groan of a 
fermenting, and heated soul. But it is as the 
raging heat of the dog-star that withers the 
sweet herb and flower, not as the benign planet 
that nourishes them. Betwixt deep humility, 
from a consciousness of imperfection and utter 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 4<lg 

self-abasementthere is surely as wide and im^ 
portarit a difference, as betwixt arrogant pride,, 
and the reverence which a lowly spirit may feel 
and indulge. The first, it is true, " was not 
made for man," the second, I cannot but appre- 
hend, was ; because in thus reverencing himself, 
man reverences the Power who made him in 
his own express image. The horrors of a mind 
overburthened with a sense of guilt, will, no 
doubt, force a way into public notice from 
the most profound recesses of the bosom; and 
in such cases, the voice of Contrition may cry 
aloud, and be heard afar off; but, God forbid! 
this dire sentiment of acknowledged, or even of 
latent shame, should be general; and even in 
those lamentable instances it is not often that 
Penitence forgets the meekness and silence 
which are her characteristics. That a holy/^r 
a sacred awe should mix with a love of GOD 
is natural ; but partakes more of the emotion of 
a duteous child to a tender parent, and what 
is the Omnipotent but the lovely Father of all 
mankind ? The point I contend for, is, that of 
seeing him and his religion drawn in that cliarac- 



430 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND; 

ter : and what I complain of in many of the 
votariesof Methodism, is suffering the serious sen- 
timent they truly feel, not only to throw over the 
hours of prayer a headlong terror and an enfu- 
riate zeal, which hurries them out of themselves, 
but impregnates their whole lives with the 
gloom of the grave. The cheerfulness which 
smiles around them in the fairest and purest 
works of the Almighty, as, for instance, they 
glow in the scenes of Bayfield, at this beautiful 
season, communicates no reflected complacency 
to many of the villagers below. Humanly 
speaking, when their lives are unspotted, when 
the seeds of Virtue in their hearts have shot up 
into the pure blossom, and yielded the fruit of 
good works, they still fear to shew, in the 
nameless relative and endearing alliances of 
life, that they ought to partake of the innocent 
hilarity, in which every bird over their heads, 
every insect at their feet, every animal which 
lives but to assist, and which die to nourish 
them, till the last unconscious moment of 
sacrifice so generally REJOICE. 

" There are four sorts of people," says the 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 431 

amiable Author, who has furnished me with - 
the example I have given you, in my last note, a 
few pages back, " and each of these persons is 
differently affected towards our Father which is 
in heaven." The first he describes as being 
without Him; the second as against Him; the 
third as dreading }&$&$ the last/' adds he, " love 
and adore Him." Of that class, I firmly believe, 
are very frequently the people called Methodists, 
But excess of this dread is often fatal to their 
individual comfort, and renders them in a man- 
ner useless as connected beings. The distraught 
or downcast eye, the shaded brow, the droop- 
ing figure, the melancholy air, and the heavy 
step, too often mark their progress through the 
cheerful walks of Nature and Society. Why 
is this ? The volume of their faith and the 
blessed Author of it, recommend modest cheer- 
fulness continually, and hold out a sweet assu- 
rance that the temple of GOD, the everlasting 
temple, and surely the earthly one should 
copy its character, instead of being filled with 
general lamentations, ungovernable sentiments, 
foaming expressions of them, and convulsive 

3 



432 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

gesticulations,, exhibits to the virtuous the 
fullness of joy! and should not even the 
wicked when he turneth away from his 
wickedness, console iis wounded spirit with 
the inexpressible goodness and smiling love, 
rather than the desolating or withering frown 
of the Power, " who pitieth and forgiveth, even 
as a father pitieth his children?" 

Those whose dread overwhelms their love, 
are, in truth, the sincerest objects of pity. 
The Author above-mentioned, in his own 
familiar, yet impressive manner, is of the same 
opinion; and by an allusion drawn from com- 
mon life, gives a lively representation of the 
mercy of the Deity as a solace from the terror 
of his judgments. It brings to so good an 
issue the whole of this argument, is so illus- 
trative, and favours the comfortable idea I so 
wish to establish, that it shall close my present 
Letter. 

" Suppose I could take a person out of this 
assembly" he addressed this from the pulpit 
" one who had never seen the sea, and carry 
him in an instant to the sea-side, and set him 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 433 

dcnvn there ; and suppose the sea at that instant 
to be in a storm : the great, black, and dismal 
clouds rolling, thunders bellowing, lightnings 
flashing, the winds roaring, the sea dashing 
ten thousand watery mountains one against 
another,, the beach covered with shattered timber 
and cordage, merchandise and corpses; this 
man would instantly conceive a dreadful idea of 
the sea, and would shudder, and shriek, and flee 
for his life. It would be hard to give this man 
a pleasant notion of the sea, especially if he 
had been well-informed that several of his 
relations and friends had perished in the tempest; 
yet this man would have but half a right notion 
of the sea; for could he be prevailed on to go 
down on the beach a few days after, the heavens 
would smile, the air be serene, the water 
smooth, the seamen whistling and singing, 
here a vessel of trade sailing before the wind, 
there a fleet of men of war coming into har- 
bour, yonder pleasure boats basking in the sun, 
the flute making melody of the breeze, the 
company, even the softer sex, enjoying them- 
selves without fear ; this man would then form 
VOL. iv. F P 



434 



LEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 



the other half-notion of the sea; and the two put 
together would be the just and true idea of it. 
Apply this,, and your confidence in GOD will be 
as much greater than your dread, as his MERCIES 
are greater than his PUNISHMENTS, 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 435 






LETTER XXL 



HOLT, Sept. 1798. 

J[ HE distance from LETHERINSET to 
Holt is scarcely more than a mile, but were it 
a league, your eye would find welcome occu- 
pation. The town of Holt stands on a hill> 
which, were I writing to a Dutchman, I should 
call loftyy but to aSwitzer, I shall only venture 
to say, its top is airy enough for health, and it 
is scarce necessary to observe it affords a suf- 
ficient scope for a prospect of vernal beauty ; 
for it includes a summary view of all that 
I have detailed in my way from Hillington, 
Houghton, and Fakenham; the richest variega- 
tion of scenery, perhaps, in Norfolk; of which, 
indeed, it has been called the garden, Not; 



436 GLEANINGS IK ENGLAND. 

that I would have you attach too much faith to 



this expression generally, though in this 
ticular instance it happens to be true; because 
I have frequently found men and books, pay, 
ing the like compliment to several parts of the 
same county; insomuch, that one might deem 
the whole district to consist of garden-ground: 
and sometimes where there is little preference to 
be made in any of the spots favoured. 

There has been a complaint as to water, the 
want of which was severely felt some years ago ; 
but the landlord of the Feathers, a good well- 
attended Inn, which I recommend to yo% 
assert^ that this objection is entirely removed. 

Holt is generally under-rated by publishing 
travellers, who have agreed to say " it contains 
some good houses." It maybe improved; for 
at this very day that I am writing of it, I must 
give the preference to most others of the same 
size I have seen in any part of England. It i$ 
extremely clean, has a countenance of neatness, 
something of an air of gentility, and most of 
the environing cottages convey to the spectator 
an image of comfort. 



GLEANINGS IN ENGtAND* 43? 

Sir John Gresham, who was born here, 
bought the manor-house, which he converted 
into a school, endowing it wi^h the manor, 
which is now in a flourishing condition, under 
the auspices of a very able and amiable man, 
Mr. Atkins. The school-house, may be called 
in every sense, the best house in a town, 
where, as I have said, there are many good* 
You saw too much of my questionary habits 
abroad, to be surprised at my entering into 
unceremonious chat with some of my com- 
patriot school-boys, who were playing near the 
house. I singled the boy, who seemed to bow to 
me in the most answerable shape, and thus en- 
couraged, I set off on my interrogatory poney. 
. " How many scholars, my little fellow ?"* 
" Six boarders." " How many day-scholars ?" 
" Very few now, Sir, in harvest time." 

" Why, they are not sons of farmers, are 
they?"" No, Sir, Gleaners." It was quite 
impossible to help observing to my little intelli- 
gencer, that/mw one too. 

" The youth looked at my boots, as if he 
did not believe a word of the matter. 



438 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

" And are ye all good in school, and 
out of it?- and do you fight and^make it up, 
and play the truants bravely?" 

" That is what we do/' exclaimed several 
together." 

" And mind our books, too, now and then, 
when we can't help it," cried a taller strippling 
than the rest, archly," 

c " And, I dare say, you love nuts, apples, 
and pies, as well as I did at your age. Let me 
see, there are five of you, 'and that small 
piece of silver will divide into as many parts, 
leaving a Benjamin portion for my friend here, 
whom I have troubled with so many questions." 

For an idea of die delight that attached to 
this poor donation, you must go back to the 
blithsome period when a penny was compe- 
tence, and sixpence riches. Time wears away 
the fine and pure sense of these things -but 
memory brings them back, and the very soul 
hangs over the recollection when such small 
circumstances occur to us in the bustle of life. 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND; 43Q 

THE ride from Holt to SHELLINGHAM, must 
be taken like many other things in this various 
world on compromise -You pass from the 
town of Holt almost immediately on a heath, 
which on the left gives you nothing but fern, 
thistles and rabbits, to the extent of your hori- 
Son ; but then your view to the left is recom- 
penced by a pretty bordering of country, and 
its villages, spires, &c. &c. True it is, that 
the continuity of the heath, for near four miles, 
is a little fatiguing the rabbits gambol without 
effect and I found the sheep-boys, with whom 
I attempted to converse, even sillier than their 
sheep. You have nothing, therefore, for it but 
to get to better things as fast as you can and a 
quarter of an hour's brisk riding will bring you 
to them ; for, after rising from a deep descent, 
which terminates this dreary scene, the ocean lifts 
itself unexpectedly to view, and the irregulaf 
elevations between the land and the water are 
finely covered with wood- you wind gradually 
along a valley, on the lofty sides of which no- 
thing is to be seen, everi to the summits, but 
dark green broom, and a few straggling trees 



44O OLE AN INGS IN ENGLAND. 

that slope almost to the vale, and seem even to 
be themselves in fear of falling. Pursuing the 
meander, you reach the first Shellingham, 
from whence I continue my Letter. 

It is remarkable for nothing but miserable- 
looking huts, and by no means merry-looking 
inhabitants there is a large supply of little 
$ioe and stockingless children* as there always 
is in villages near the sea Venus, you know, 
sprung from thence. They open the gates on the 
road and scramble, and grub, and combat, 
for the reward of a halfpenny thrown amongst 
them, like warriors, fighting, and tearing up 
the earth, and each other, for ^ different objects 



* I should not, however, have omitted to mention, that 
there is one nursery at WALSINGHAM, besides that of the fir. 
grove, which is in a very thriving condition. The youth of 
both sexes, from the age of three to eighteen years, are so 
peculiarly well-featured, formed and coloured, that it will 
be impossible not to distinguish them In comparison of the 
little starveling run-a-bout dabs that shoal on the beach, 
grub for .shrimps, or muddle at the ebb of the tide for eels, 
they seem beings of another world. Let the flourishing state 
of these human plantations, therefore, be considered as a set- 
off against the barren condition of the vegetable nursery. 

f if A little larger, but as senseless quite." 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 441 

and whoever is so lucky as to find and bear 
it off from the rest, is as proud as any such 
warriors of the greatest victory that was ever 
obtained by the most illustrious butcher of them 
all ; which was, as I take it, the Great Alexander 
of Greece, or the Great Frederick of Prussia, or 
the Greatest of the Great Nation, or any other 
great Conqueror who may happen to be your 
Hero, my good Friend, and my good Reader. 

The second Shellingham is a mile beyond the 
first, and your passage to it is over some well- 
cultivated arable lands, which conduct you to the 
good, and, indeed, only inn of that place, (the 
Crown) situated on the verge of the cliff, where 
you will find, a civil innholder, good accom- 
modation, and a comfortable bed, on which it 
being now ten o'clock, I will prepare to re- 
pose, and wish you a good night. 

HOLT, September. 

THERE is a brave passing and repassing of pro- 
perty of the HOLT Manor, as, indeed, there is in 
the county-histories of all manors. The Con- 
fessor found or made this kings, you know, are 



442 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

said to have long hands an extensive lordship. 
Since which there has been a grand string of 
conveyances,, grants, and counter-grants,, very 
interesting, no doubt., to the vanity of a lineal heir, 
and, at least, as entertaining to some readers, as 
might be to others the long- winded genealogy of 
a running horse, or of a game cock; but as this 
correspondence is not made for any of those 
readers, it has all along declined the honours of 
pedigree, either in regard to man or beast. Yet 
in this particular place there is. such. a glorious 
uncertainty as to possessors and possession, that I 
really must stoop to gather it up for you. 

From the first year of Richard the II. $on of 
the Black Prince, so honoured in our annals, 
and the last year of Henry VIII of whom we 
do not quite so much boast intervened a space 
of one hundred and sixty -eight years. Now here 
is an hiatus of the possession, and different 
proprietors of almost two centuries : du- 
ring which we know nothing even of the 
name or pedigree of the lord or lady land* 
holders, either in this county, -or in any other 
part of the British empire, with the exception 



GLEANINGS JN ENGLAND. 443 

of Wales, for the histories of that principality 
" being extant," says an historian^ " before 
Adam, and the language in which the Cam- 
brian families are recorded, being only known 
to the inhabitants of that country, it is impos- 
sible for a postdiluvian writer to speak of their 
annals with a precision, which may possibly 
ascertain the right line of descent from the 
creation of the world DOWN to Adam, Eve, 
and paradise I " English records, we are sensible,'* 
adds the same historian (( are not so exact, and 
that they are lamentably deficient, this instance 
may be given among a thousand others." 

It is really a most grievous thing, my friend, 
that I cannot fill up this wide gap to your 
satisfaction, at least, so far as relates to the 
county of Norfolk. I have not time ; I have 
not life for such important researches ; but I 
think you may safely conclude from your 
knowledge of the human passions, that every 
inch of ground was fought for, lost and won, 
disputed and maintained with the usual rage 
and rapacity, under the more popular names of 
courage and heroism ; and that in progress of 



444 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND* 

the whole hundred and sixty-nine years, per-* 
haps,, not a second instance could be found, of a 
man of landed estate, who, like Mr. ****** 
would have suffered even a crab-tree to be cut 
down, or relinquish as much land as would feed 
a thistle, or afford a seat to the poor little bird 
that now and then pecks at its down* Alas ! 
my friend, what is the history of the whole 
earth, so far as respects property, but a tissue of 
private and public quarrels, of conquest and of 
defeat, of battle, murder, and SUDDEN death ? 
From the famous strife at Marathon, four hun- 
dred years before CHRIST, to that of Pontas in, 
Catalonia, when the French were defeated, in 
1/95, after the birth of our SAVIOUR, or shall 
we carry it a year nearer to us, and say, to the 
conquest of the Piedmont Sardinians the 
bloody line might, you know, be extended, in 
dreadful proximity, to the times before us, even 
tq the, crimson moment at which I write but, 
how does the soul shrink appalled at the aggregate 
of slaughter ! at the devastation of men, the deso- 
lation of women, and the groans of the blushing 
earth! The specific account of the deaths in 



GLEANINGS IX ENGLAND, 445 

that lapse of time, and the little real private or 
public good attained by the then living, and 
yet existing nations, with the melancholy dis- 
proportion which has but too generally subsisted 
between the cause and the effect might lead a 
reflecting mind to think but it is amongst the 
subjects on which reflection loses itself, and all 
that is left- perhaps, all that is permitted us is 
to fall out with one another for the earth, or for 
;any thing it inherits, as little as we can help ; 
and to have something as much like a wise and 
moral reason ^we have always a political., or 
compromising one when it seems inevitable. 
Secondary to the loss of blood, in these " never- 
ending, still beginning" contests is, that of 
property. A very curious, and, I believe, very 
correct estimate of both these, as sustained by 
Europe, through the means of the French 
Republic, has lately fallen under my eye. 
perhaps it has come under yours, as it is a 
translation from documents, of which the 
original is in Germany : but it so strongly 
corroborates the foregoing remarks I cannot 
deny it a place. 



446 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

The recapitulation stands thus : 
Loss in Territory of his Imperial 

Majesty .56,094,000 

Ditto of his Prussian Majesty 23Q,2OO 

Holland 34,94Q,800 

Various territories, from Holland to 
Alsace : particularly the country 
between the Moselle, Meuse, 

and Rhine 5,331,200 

Triers 244,800 

Palatinate 498,480 

Deux Ponts . . . . r ....... f ... . . , 1 78,20O 

Suabia , . . 2,310,337 

Dutchy of Bergen ...,., 98,560 

The Empire. Second Campaign . . 18,562,455 

Wirtemberg , 521,244 

Bavaria 678,800 

Baden ...... r . ? 131,800 

Milan, or Cisalpine Republic .... ll,36o,OOO 
Sardinia; considerable tract of ter- 
ritory , 

Modena ,...-, 4l6,OOO 

Lucca 200,000 



Carried over 131,814,87^ 
I 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 44? 

Brought over ..131,814,876 

Parma lf>4,OOO 

Naples 6,000 

Genoa l6o,OOO 

Tuscany 320,OOO 

Imperial territory 

Venice 6,881,832 

Spain 1,200,000 

Portugal 1,440,000 

Switzerland . , ,.,.,. 412,OOO 

Hamburg . . . r .... 280,000 

Bremen and Lubeck . , 120,000 

[The losses of Men, and the exr 

pences of "War are not included 

here ; as England alone has spent 

many million pounds sterling.] 

Total amount of requisition and 

contributions, as specified 143,2QO,7O7 

Loss of the Dutch, by the bank- 
ruptcies of the great nation .... 7^,800,000 
Unvalued property ; as plate of the 
churches, maintenance of the ar- 
mies, palaces, houses, national 

Carried over 362,879,415 



44& GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

Brought over ..362,879,415 
domains, property of the emigrants 
in the conquered countries, forti- 
fications,, ceded territories,- their 
regular revenues, &c. &c. k fc , 800,000,000 

Enormous amount of assignats, 
mandats, &c. poured out amongst- 
mankind, whereby millions of 
credulous people were deceived 
Fifty milliards of assignats; where- 
of, including what was lost by fo- 
reigners in the public funds, one- 
third maybe taken in calculation 666. 666,667 

A great number of large and small 
American vessels, taken without a 
declaration of war, by piracy, 
which amount in number to mote - 
than one thousand; and valuing 
each with its cargo at only one 
thousand pounds, the amount is 1,OOO,OOO 

A number of vessels taken from the 

other neutral powers together 4,000,000 



Carried over 1,834,546,083 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

Brought over ..1, 834,546,082 
[JV.5. No reckoning is made as to 

the losses of Great Britain and 

Ireland in commercial vessels, as 

the French have lost more than 

their amount in ships of war.] 
Total loss of Europe then, my dear 

Baron, in money, goods, and 

territory l,6gi,757,374 



.3,526,303,456 

Should any one find this calculation over- 
rated, he will please to consider, that all the 
countries conquered by the French nation were 
the most rich, populous, industrious, and fruit- 
ful parts of the Continent ; and that the 
Republic has at present the best fourth part 
of Europe* under her command. She has so 



* Since this Letter was sent into Germany, and, indeed, 
since it was at the English Press, the wheel of belligerent 
Fortune has taken a retrograde motion, whirling more ra* 
pidly backwards even than it had gone forward to the dis- 
comfiture of the Colossus-Republic, and the remuneration of 

VOL. IV. GG 



45O GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

rounded and fortified herself, that she is enabled 
to keep all nations in a state of perpetual 
agitation. 

At the bottom of the melancholy account 
xve may still draw a dear-bought moral 
" The picture of fallen states," says an inge- 
nious observer^ upon this calculation, ec affords 
a striking lesson at this moment to surround- 
ing nations ; but there is something peculiarly 
striking, and worthy of observation , in the fall 
. of Athens." 

" In Athens," says Plutarch, " there were 
men not to be surpassed in the world ; but its 
bad citizens were not to be equalled in impiety, 
perfidiousness, and cruelty, by any age or 
eountry." Plutarch was an historian, not a 
prophet : he spoke of things that had been, 
not of men that would be. 

Athens was renowned for the polish of its 

. manners, and the splendour of its military 

- character. The important battles of Marathon, 



Austria ; but still proving that the blood and treasure which 
purchased victory in the first instance, have been yet more 
exhausted in the second. 
2 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND* 451 

\ v 

Salamis, and Plataea, had given new lustre to 
its glory, and new power to its consequence. 
Its citizens, therefore, aspired to a superiority 
above the other states of Greece. Proud in 
their power, and haughty in their success", they 
grew arrogant in their demands, and claimed 
supremacy. They hurled the brand of discord 
and war amongst nations, to light themselves to 
aggrandizement upon the ruins of their fall. 
For, notwithstanding their confused democracy 
within, the success of their arms without had 
forced the other states of Greece into subjection. 
It had awed them into a confederacy. These 
conquerors went on to the borders of Egypt, 
having, at that moment, according to Aristo- 
phanes, a thousand cities under their dominion. 
But their arrogance abroad, and intemperance 
at home, sealed the instrument of their fate 

THE ABUSED STATES UNITED. 

The destruction of that people was resolved 
on, which claimed paramount power over the 
rest. A single pique was widened into universal 
war, and the arms of all nations were turned 
against Athens. After twenty-eight years of 

G G 2 



452 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

-, 

bloodshed, it fell into ruin. Thirty tyrants 
started up to oppress her within, and she 
groaned under the weight of her own cala- 
mities. These monsters, with power in their 
hands, exhibited but deeds of blood, and de- 
signs of horror. All those who had possessed 
themselves of estates were put to death without 
form of justice. And, without pique or grudge, 
those were sacrified for their riches, who had 
sacrificed others for the same. Their transports 
of cruelty and covetousness were so boundless, 
that they turned even upon themselves, and 
spared not Theramenes, one of their own 
number. The analogy, indeed, the counter 
part of this Athenian record, is brought so home 
to the immediate history and prospect of a 
particular part of modern Europe, that a striking 
parallel must be drawn in every eye that views, 
and every mind that contemplates it. 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 453 



LETTER XXII. 



CROMER, Sept. 17Q3. 

J\. RESPLENDANT morning shone on my 
farther progress, SHERINGHAM * Priory is an 
object that will cpmmarfd your notice in the 



* SHERINGHAM is divided into Upper and Lower; the 
houses in the former being nearly a mile from it, whilst 
those of the latter are so close to the beach as frequently to 
suffer by the impetuosity of the tides. Lower Sheringham is 
situated on a ruin of the cliff projecting on the beach, and 
the cliff gradually rises on each side to upwards of an hun- 
dred yards j the sea gains considerably here*, and it is not 
uncommon to observe large pieces of arable land carried away 
with corn growing on it, betwixt seed time and harvest, so 
near do the people plough to the edge of a cliff, It strikes a 
stranger with awe to look down, . A very considerable 
fishery is carried on from this place, of cod, skate, and 
whiteings, but especially crabs and lobsters, with which this 
place and Cromer chiefly supply the London Market, by 
vessels which take the fish from the boats while at sea, 
There is a very good, and, indeed, the only inn at Lower 
jSheringham, much resorted to in Summer the dining 



454 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

degree that it has recently attracted mine ; and if 
you take your way to it by the brook or as they 
call it in this country, the leek you will meet 
with a courteous reception from the well- 
informed gentleman-farmer upon whose grounds 
the ruin stands.* He will shew you -the spot 



room stands on the very edge of the cliff, and at 
high water no land can be seen from the windows. Some- 
times^ thirty or forty fishing boats within a mile of the shore, 
and fleets of three, hundred colliers and other large trading 
vessels pass so near, that with the naked eye you may dis- 
cover the men on board. At low water the beach is enli- 
vened by the multitude of fishermen either drying their nets, 
hawling up their boats, repairing their tackle, landing th^ir 
fish, or securing their lobsters and crabs in coys, a sort of 
boxes fixed to the rocks, which the sea overflows and fills at 
every tide. This prospect may be enjoyed within doors, 
but when abroad you will be charmed by the beauty of the 
country, surrounded by richly cultivated, and what in 
Norfolk may be called bold and lofty hills ; from one to 
the east of Lower Sheringham you command an extensive 
view of the sea-coast, abruptly bounded by Cromer light- 
house, about four miles to the east, whilst the eye is los$ 
towards the west, after wandering over botfc the Shering- 
hams. 

* Of the ruins, the church which is near to the British 
ocean, the whole west gavel wall, with the arch of the 
Window, is standing ; the length of the church itself, with 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. > 455 

where the stone coffin was discovered about 
thirty years since by Blomfield, and a variety 
of other particulars respecting the antiques ; 
and if you have the luck that I had, you will 
see several very pretty moderns, in the form of 
his fair daughters, who happened to be then in 
the garden that fronted his house. 

Passing the farm you strike again into the 
CROMER road, and if you stop at the first field 
gate to your left, you will well employ your 
time in the survey of a very fine picture. The 
well built, comfortable, modern farm-house of 
the present times, with its garden, and nurseries, 
mixed with the reliques of the ancient Priory ; 
Beeston-hill, and a similar ridge of smaller ones 
as its satellites, bounding your horizon ; the ocean 
is seen through an arch to the left, and to the 
right, you have more expansive openings of it 
with various small craft and larger vessels 



the nave, tower and chancel, was about forty-seven yards ; 
the nave itself ten yards wide; the choir, or chancel, fifteen 
yards long within. South of the nave was the cloister ; the 
north tfnd south transcept were twelve yards long each, and 
ten wide, enfolding chapel within chapel. 



456 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

gliding over its bosom ; while Beeston-church* 
standing close to the beach,, serves at once as a 
pleasure-mark to the traveller, and as a sea- 
guide to the tar. 

You then proceed by a pleasant green lane 
till you come to the village of Further Run- 
ton, in which you have an elegant villa, situated 
in a romantic valley, screened by a continuation 
of the hills, and rendered more picturesque by 
several hanging groves, ornamented by a thick 
wood in the back ground, consisting of fir, 
sycamore, oak, and elm, less injured by their 
proximity to the sea than they certainly would 
have been had they not been under protection 
of the glen. The road onward, shews on one 
side, far -extended mountains more barren of 
foliage yet not destitute either of cultivation or 
verdure, and on the other, the broadened ocean 



* The scite of Beeston Priory and lands are now in the 
possession, and, I believe, the property of Mr. Thomas 
Woodrow. The Priory was dedicated to St. Mary, in the 
reign of our King John, for Canons of the order of St. 
Augustin. 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 457 

spreads to the limit of your view. You have 
Cromer church and light-house all the way ,in 
front as the vista of your prospect* 

The Norfolk Tourist, and all the other histov 
rians, have done what they could for CROMER ; 
desiring their readers will suffer its situation and 
the scenery around it, to make amends for the 
town itself. On the ostensible common facts 
they are all so accordant as to the mediocre 
buildings and foot-piercing streets, and a few 
other objects, that nothing can be added to the 
old accounts which will do the interior of the 
place further service. 

The embattled church has been a magnifi 
ceat, and is still an interesting structure. It was 
built about the year 13Q6 : its steeple, . which is 
\ 5Q feet high, is square and richly ornamented 
with free-stone sculpture : the chancel is in 
ruins. About a mile to the east of the town is 
the light-house. Cromer boasts a great fishery 
for lobsters and crabs, and within the last few 
years, a considerable number of herrings have 
been taken on the coast. N 

The fair is on Whit - Monday, which 



458 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 

draws together the neighbourhood. To a mind 
that can receive pleasure from seeing others 
happy, without despising or arguing upon the 
reasons of their being so, this is a striking scene ; 
several hundreds of truly delighted beings of 
all sexes and ages, in their holiday cloaths, are 
seen from the cliff in boats, enlivening the sea, 
whilst swarms of people who cannot get boats 
enough to gratify their desire of floating, im- 
patiently wait on the beach, which they cover. 
There is now no harbour at Cromer, yet corn is 
exported, and coals, deals,. &c. received in return. 
The vessels used are from 60 to 100 tons 
burden, few larger: at high water they are laid 
upon the beach, and, as soon .as the water is 
sufficiently ebbed, carts are drawn to the side of 
the ship, and the coals shot into them, as they 
are into lighters in other places : but the carts 
carry only half a chaldron at a time, as the road 
up the cliff is very steep. In this manner the 
carts continue working, till the water flows so 
high as to wash the sides of the horses, and 
just to float the carts; they can then unload 
sometimes sixty chaldron in a tide. When. the 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 45Q 

vessel is empty it floats on a high tide, and 
continues at a little distance from the shore, and 
is then loaded with corn by boats, as they sel- 
dom run the hazard of loading them when laid 
on the Beach, lest contrary wind should prevent 
their getting off with the cargo. 

While I thus report what has been reported, 
and seem to catch eagerly at these poor coal- 
barges and corn-boats or any thing like a 
curiosity me thinks, my friend perceives the 
difficulty I am in between a wish to promise 
him something worthy of his attention in this 
little sea-port, and the impossibility of accom- 
plishing it, so far as mere town goes ; which, 
in my opinion, is not very far any where, out of 
the metropolis. 

But the exterior of Cromer is replete with 
interesting and commanding objects : blending, 
indeed, some things which are sublime with 
many that are beautiful. The cliffs, and sands 
combine both these. To the fullest extent of 
a various walk, or ride, the Beach is in itself an 
object of peculiar attraction. It is broad, firm, 
and smooth, I think, beyond any I have seen. 



46O GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

May I not flatter myself you have in recol- 
lection the Beach verses which were drawn 
from me at SCHEVELING, in Holland, in my 
former Gleanings ? and will it not be permitted 
me to consider the kind reception which I re- 
member you, gave them, as passports for more 
sea-side poesy? I cannot but anticipate your 
answer to this question, in the way most pleasing 
to me ; and when we are our own respondents 
as well as appellants, and no one is at hand to 
put in a rejoinder, or to make a single objection, 
we are sure, you know, of our cause. Take 
then what may follow from the influence of the 
poetic passion which I found rising at the view of 
the ocean an element which has, in some re- 
spects, advantage of the land, even allowing the 
latter as in the scene before me, to be eminently 
beautiful. The ever-shifting varieties, either soft 
or sublime, rich or interesting, of the marine, 
picture moving on the face of the water, its 
colouring, its quietude, its menace of a storm, 
and the storm itself considering only the sur- 
face are endless ; and if you add the diversity 
of objects moving on it/ each of those object* 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 4&i 

presented in different points of view, according 
to the different periods and humours of the air 
and water by which they are influenced,, it is 
altogether impossible that any fixed scenery, 
however diversified by the changes of the sea- 
sons, or of verdure, should, as a novelty, afford 

. such amusement to the eye, and supply to the 
soul such trains of reflection. 

Since I reached Cromer I have had the curiosity 
to keep watch, on the movements of this sublime 
object, from a window that commanded it, 
during the chief part of a day and evening ; 
both of which exhibited, even in their own 
changes, a strong specimen of the vicissitude of 

. human things. For beyond my power was it 
to catch the quick succession from shade to 
splendour, and from splendour again to shade ; 
I passed many hours in my observatory indeed, 
most part of the day and eve then onward to 
the not unwelcome pensive interval, when an em- 
browning cast of deeper shadowing follows the 
last sun-tints, and precedes the rising of the 
moon this was accompanied by a still pause,, 
as if nature was preparing her scenery for a new 
3 



462 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

change groupes of spectators were on the 
Beach, many in the room with me were dis- 
posed to sympathy of silence. It was sweet to 
attend the gradual peering, to the full lustre of 

the loveliest planet, to our vision, in the 

' \ 

heavens the patroness of philosophy, friend- 

ship, and love softener of our woe, composer 
of our strife, the solacer of the wounded heart, 
chastener of our worst, encourager of our best 
contemplations. , 

Had Neptune himself sent his azure chariot 
to receive, with a chosen suite of his sea- 
nymphs to invite and escort me to his coral 
palace, I scarce could have been more awed, 
more softened, or more enchanted, sometimes 
at the window. -sometimes ruminating on the 
ciifF, and sometimes pacing along, or listening 
to the surf-sound, the flap of the boat-sail, or 
the measured dash of the distant oar. . 

My heart warmed, its sensibility kindled, its 
rapture glowed 1 I penciled its effusions begun 
and ended -just as you will see them. After a 
short pause I will retrace them, so that they may go 
with this their introduction, in my next packet. 



TO 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 



THE SEA, 



JLJLAIL wonder -teeming element ! again 
From Albion's cliffs I greet thee ! Thy expanse, 
This Summer eve, just as the setting sun 
Tints thee with liquid gold, shews tnee more pure* 
Ev'n than thy pearly caves, or coral throne. 
'Twere cbjurlish in the twilight traveller 
Who, has e'er felt thy influence, on the nerve 
Sickness or sorrow has unstrung, and which thy power 
Elastic, has restor'd to wholesome tone* 
To pass thee by without his vesper homage. 
Were he ev'n Fortune's darling, or the child 
Most favour'd of Hygeia, and no aid 
Medicinal, or from thy salient Wave 
Or nitrous air, or health-renewing herb* 
Of earth thy neighbour, sure thy aspect blandj 
" On such a night as this,'* might lure his step 
And woo his charmed eye, and raptur'd ear 
Awhile to tarry ! What though, while I pause, 
VOL, IV. H H 



466 GLEANINGS ,W ENGLAND, 

That tinge of liquid gold, ev'n as I gaz'd, 

Has, from the changing sky abruptly sunk 

As if into thy billow, leaving there 

The last faint rose of Eve, new beauties pour 

Upon th* enamoured eye : the dunner shades, 

The deeper clouds, that o'er thy bosoni draw 

Their veils of sable, and yon beacon's light, 

The friendly guide of nighted mariner ; 

The scarce-heard sea-song of the fishing train, 

Settling their nets in yonder scarce-seen boats, 

Resolv'd to try the fortune of the tide : 

The merry chat of homeward harvesters, 

And tribe of village maids, and matron dames. 

The leasing bundle on their heads, who stop 

To gaze on pensive stranger, and invite 

His bounty to increase their gleaning store. 

Nor shall their fellow-labourer refuse 

His pittance "scant, earn'd by a toil, perchance 

Less wearisome, but humble as their own : 

Yet, oh ! how cheaply may he send them home 

More light and gladsome with their fragrant load, 

Joyous as he whose gen'rous fields supplied 

Their gradual sheaf their little granary. 

And, lo! from yonder fleeces in the east 

Of dappled yellow, light, with shade awhile 

Contending, breaks the crescent moon, and shews 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 46? 

Thy placid surface more serenely sweet, 

Mild as her own soft beams. Ah ! say, fair Sea ! 

Who, that had only seen thee thus adorn'd 

Thy waves, chacing each other as in sport ; 

Thy sounds soft as the breeze that fans thy breast, 

And lightly heaving, as with fighs of love 

Say, who would think that thou couldst ever frown ? 

Who but would trust thee, ev'n as trusts the Youth 

The lovely maid whose all-attractive form 

And plaintive voice, and mien of gentleness, 

And aspect bland, and beauty-dimpled cheek 

Has won his heart ? Yes, and that youth himself, 

If haply now the all-attracting maid, 

While yet the moon her gentle lustre shed, 

Were at his sidebreathing a whisper'd wish 

To taste the breeze upon the freshen'd wavei 

Would instant seize on yonder slender skiff, 

And its light canvas spreading to the air, 

Sail, nothing fearful, with his freight away 

To lands unknown relying on thy smile. 

4 Ti.- : ." .. rvi'T, Ot?riaifi3:^b ah\! ( ; 

But what are Smiles ? Look at the smitten cliff, 
Stain'd, ragged, gapp'd : for many a distant league 
Earth disembowell'd, and her entrails vast, 
Ferocious torn ; deep in her hollow sides 
Huge" caverns scoop'd, and this aerial steep, 
H H 2 



468 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 



Which, but for thee, whole ages would have brav'd 
The pitiless rage of all the winds of heav'n, 
O'er time itself triumphant added now 
To the flat beach nor satisfied with this. 
Say, thou insidious ! where O, where is now 
Ill-fated Shipden?* where her flocks, her herds, 
Spires, turrets, battlements ? her mountains where, 
Whose tops look'd down upon thy proudest mast, 
And whose capacious base was seated deep 
Even as the secret chambers of the grave ? 

Retire, mysterious tide, to lowest ebb ; 
Roll back th' obedient waters, and display 



* There was formerly a town called Shipden, betwixt this 
town and the ocean, but the sea has entirely swallowed up 
that town, and makes hasty strides towards derouring 
Cromer also, which now stands fo near the edge of the clifi> 
that in the memory of many people now living there, upwards 
of twenty houses have at different times been precipitated into 
the sea. 

At very low tides there is an appearance of something, 
which the fishermen call Shipden steeple. It is hardly 
probable, but that a large tower, whose foundations were an 
hundred feet perpendicular from the surface of the sea, after 
being tumbled into it, with the immense body of earth that 
supported it, and after being washed for many centuries by 
the waves, must have been so shattered and dashed to pieces, 
that no remains can be visible. 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 460 

The mighty ruin of whole towns engulph'd, 

And acres upon acres hurl'd amain 

From the defrauded shore the mild abodes 

Of useful men, a harmless peasantry, 

Precipitated prone into the flood ! 

And ev'n their temple, where they decent met 

Each Sabbath morn and eve, devout to pray, 

Their place of sepulchre, their hallow'd bower 

Chang'd to tremendous rocks ! and oft, tis said, 

The affrighted fiisherman the steeple spies 

Above the waves : and oft the mariner, 

Driven by the whirlwind, feels his vessel strike 

Upon the mingled mass ! So falsely fair 

Is Ocean's smi-le ! an^, haply, o'er the morn, 

That lucid stillness", and that frolic wave, 

Which smooth as streamlets with the moon beam plays, 

And that refreshing breeze which kindly now, 

Fills the light sail of yon advent'rous smack 

That fans its vane may, by some sudden gust, 

Swift as the winds with which thou art in league, 

And thy confederating lightnings, swell 

To raving storm, pollute the moon's fair face, 

And fright her from the sky and not a star 

Remain to cheer the wide-investing gloom ; 

Thy bosom, late so calm, convuls'd may heave 

With madd'nihg groans, that mixiiig with the burst 



IN ENGLAND. 

Of deaf'ning thunder. Ah, too credulous youth, 
In smiles believing, if, on the dark brine 
The treasure of thy heart then tosses wild, 
Ev'n though, at the first warning of the, air, 
And agitated wave, thy skiff was turn'd 
To shore, seen only by the livid flash 
At intervals in vain the hoisted sail, 
Js cautious struck, in vain the oar is plied : 
Ev'n if the savage gale be full for shore, 
And the fierce tide shall speed thy deadly course,* . 
Some faithless billow from behind, may whelm 
Thy feeble bark, or lift it mountain high, 
And in its fell. descent, hurl thee to shore 
Upon the surgy beach ; nor suffer'd there ] 
The hope of life r.estor'd ; but hurried thence, 
By the returning wave which with the rage 
Of some mad glutton, seizes oft again 
On what it has disgorg'd may whirl thee back 
Midst wrecks" obscene, till tbou, and thy soul's charge 
Are dash'd at length upon some pointed rock 
Old Shipden forms- while agonizing friends, 
Parents, or little .ones, or tender kin, 
From the extremest verge of this tall cliff 
Whereon I, stand, or on the roaring sands, 
With loud lamenting, wail thy wretched fate. 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 4?1 

Nor, haply, with your destiny severe, 
Shall the insatiate tyrant of the sea 
End the dire horrors of a night, begun 
In peace perchance the shaggy cliff itself, 
Deep fractur'd as it is, rood beyond rood, 
May fall the victim of another blast 
Dire as the new year's gale,* whose havoc wild 
The sires and matrons to their children tell, 
While shuddering terror seizes all the train 
Close-crouding round : and ere the moon again 
Her shade shall draw upon the twinkling beach, 
Thy relicks, CROMER, on the trembling verge 
Of the imperious main, thy watch-tower plao'd- 
Upon thy proudest height, the beauteous hills' 
That compass thee around, and yonder fane 
In its remains majestic, with whate'er 
Stand least remote from the devouring surge 
May swell its wasteful triumph, and may add 
Another heapy ruin to thy reign 
Another Ship den ! while the barks that glide 
Now on thy'ciirystal breast, and all their store, t 
Their little store, and yet their daily bread, : - 

L> 

* So called from a dreadful hurricane which happened Here 
about twenty years ago on New* Year's day. 



. .'V 4.- ' I'J * 



473 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND 

Of the slight crews the hardy fishing tribe, 
Be flung in fragments, on a houseless shore. 



Yet, why of partial evil thus complain, 
The source of general good ? Pardon, O world 
Of mighty waters ! the reproachful lay. 
What, though along thy coa,st, where fearless men 
Their dubious Dwelling {mild 'twixt sea and land,-^- 
Discordant elements ! mocking the rude shock 
Of conflict where theVimeet oft-times, thy waves 
Punish their rashness ? What, though thy far-off sea, 
Where thy strong, oak-ribbed castles only dare 
To fjx their undulating stations bold, 
And like thy own L.eyiatharj, to swim 
Th' enormous deep which seems witliout a shore,-r- 
Without a fathom oft th' ambitious bark 
And all its rqassy freight a Country's wealth ! 
Bullion and ingots, ror a Country 's power ! 
Engines of War, and Magazines of Death : 
What though even beauty finds a watry bier 
In the gay barge* with all her splendid trim 
Of silken perm.on.s, colours, summer sails. 
On pleasure's voyage, and e'en in sight of 
Ah, what are private sorrows, private loss 
Of treasure, tender kindred, life itself 

Pois'd with the public blessing, or 

fei- 1 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 

A Few fair drops from thy vast watry bed, 
O most magnificent of things create ! 



473 



Champion of England ! thou her true St. George ! 
Her coasts, her cities, country, and her towns. 
Protecting with a loving guardian's care ! 
Thou keep'st UNNUMBER'D DRAGONS IN THEIR DENS, 
Though fierce for prey ; or, if they venture forth 
With vain ambition, or by meaner stealth, 
'Tis thine to witness thy most favour'd sons, 
Cover with conquering fleets thy billowy plain, 
Commix the deathful element of fire 
With water's power, till gorgeous victory 
Flames on her burning wave and thunder rolls, * 
The thunder of her cannon, scarce less fierce, 
And far more fateful than the dreaded bolt 
That falls from heaven, when on thy waves direct 
Jt prone descends. And thou, the patron too, 
Of all the COMMERCE of this happy isle, 
The envy, the despair, but not the scorn 
Of foes, unnumber'd as the sparkling sands 
Upon her shore, and like the light surf thrown, 
In bubbles on her breastas LITTLE FEAR'D. 



Ocean sublime ! Britannia's pride and boast, 
eep, for thy native sons, their native rights, 



474 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

The birth-right of the Trident still their first, 
Best charter' of dominion ; held in trust 
For England's glory, purchas'd by the blood 
OF England's gallant tars ; by her true Drake, 
And all the worthies of the Maiden reign, 
Ev'n to the illustrious PAIR who now enjoy 
The high reward of a whole people's love, - 
Laurel'd St. VINCENT, and thy DUNCAN brave, 
Like Raleigh one, another scourge of Spain, 
And one like BLAKE, chastiser of the fell 
And fierce Batavian, faithless as ingrate : 
Then, to each other true, and thou her shield, 
BRITANNIA shall defy the WORLD IN ARMS, 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 477 



POSTSCRIPT. 



JLT was soon after the foregoing Poem was 
written that the illustrious name of NELSON 
enriched the list of our naval glory. War 
must for ever be a scourge, but the love of 
country, my friend, is an inborn emotion ; ancj 
to preserve our birth-place from invasion is a 
sacred principle that uplifts the filial arm 
throughout the globe. 

The public mind about this period, com- 
bining its successive conquests, seemed at a loss 
to decide as to the comparative merit of the 
conquerors all, in their consequences, and at 
different periods, it was well observed, had equal 
claims upon their country, and the achievement 
of each, in their order, has put the nation in a 



373 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND 

condition to accomplish the one in succession. 
Like planets of the first magnitude, it seemed 
to be the wish of the proud empire on which 
they shone, and over which they presided, to 
concentre their rays; and after they had re- 
ceived distinct admiration,- the result of this 
embodying of their light, produced such an un- 
rivalled magnificence of lustre expanding over the 
island, as must make the heart of every generous 
being, whether friend or enemy, kindle in the 
beams. 

The theatres, the press, the very pulpits of 
the nation, have each, in their congenial manner, 
poured forth their tributes. I have read many, 
and could collect for you a library of several 
volumes dedicated to public gratitude for it is 
a theme on which all characters are agreed- 
and with respect to the grandeur of the actions, 
and the good effected by them, there could not 
be found, perhaps, in the whole island a second 
opinion. It is one of the few, very few sub- 
jects, that have yet happened in the world, 
wherein all men felt alike. It seemed to be the 
anticipation of a sacred prediction, and one of 

3 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

the last to be generally accomplished the pro- 
phecy that we shall all le of one mmd. 

I would wish to . bring the concentrated 
splendours under your eye ; and after a great 
deal of desultory reading, in the fugitive pub- 
lications upon the subject, I have not met with 
any descriptions or remarks which bring the 
four victories so well into one point of view as 
die following annexed account,* which appeared 



* (( VICTORY OF EARL HOWE. -At this period^ France 
had not tried her naval strength against this country since her 
Revolution ; single conflicts between ships were not con- 
sidered, Proud of her feats on land, she looked upon her 
marine with equal confidence ; she had then ample means for 
the equipment of a fleet ; had chosen men to command her 
ships of a determined spirit, staunch Republicans, and such 
enthusiasts in her cause as to take an oath never to strike the 
national colours. Such were the men which at that time 
Lord Howe had to contend with. After a partial action on 
the 2gth of May, 1794, on the ist of June, the French fleet 
" with their accustomed resolution" (as his Lordship ex- 
pressed himself,) formed the line, and waited the attack of 
the British fleet. In two hours the event was decided; 
thirteen out of twenty. six line of battle ships (*}, composing 
the enemy's fleet, were dismasted, and seven were taken. 

. * Lord Howe only twejity-five. 



48O GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

in one of our evening prints.* I have since 
understood it was given to that respectable 
paper by an approved pen. 



This defeat they have not forgotten, for the Brest fleet has 
never since wished to hazard another trial. 

" VICTORY OF EARL ST. VINCENT. The spirit of the 
navy was augmented since the battle of the first of June ; but 
our enemies were increased, and great disasters had befallen 
our allies on the Continent. The Spaniards, so recently our 
friends, were against us. The nation was threatened with 
invasion, and the Brest fleet was only waiting the junction 
of the Spanish fleet, consisting of twenty-seven sail of the 
line, eight of which were of 1 12 guns. Our force was but 
fifteen. To prevent a junction seemed to every one impos- 
sible ; to engage such numbers dangerous ; and the junction 
was pregnant with the most serious consequences to Great 
Britain. Yet under all these gloomy prospects, this great 
Admiral, alive to the danger of his country, being informed 
of their approach, to the astonishment of both fleets, formed 
a resolution, on viewing the enemy, of that decisive nature, 
of which great minds only are capable. Four ships were 
taken, the hostile fleet returned into Cadiz, and has given' 
us no alarms since. 

" VICTORY OF VISCOUNT DUNCAN. We had to encounter 
the fleet of the power which had ever disputed the pre-emi- 
nence of the sea with ns ; a resolute and formidable people* 
Alarms for the safety of the country had increased with the 
confederacy formed to effect our ruin ; preparations of the 
most serious nature only waited an opportunity ; we had to 

* The General Evening Post. 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 481 

You will easily believe that the MUSES of 
the country have not been silent on this inspiring 



watch a dangerous coast in the worst season of the year, and 
the nearest to our own shores, for an attack. A most dan- 
gerous mutiny had broken out, and the two Admirals' ships 
were alone free from the contagion, and left unsupported for 
a time before an enemy's principal port. After a blockade 
of near five months, our fleet was obliged to quit the Texel ; 
but to the great credit of the naval department, and the 
unprecedented exertions of the admiral and captains, this fleet 
was at sea in forty-eight hours, and that of our ancient rival 
defeated close on his own shores, with the loss of nine sail of 
the line out of fifteen; and three admirals taken. The 
discoveries made by the leaders of the rebellion in Ireland 
have informed us of the danger of the escape of the Dutch 
fleet in a much stronger point of view than we could at the 
time have been sensible of. 

" VICTORY OF LORD NELSON. All the powers of Europe 
have looked with the deepest interest to the result of the 
meeting of the two fleets ; their wishes were well known, 
and the glorious event has proved that the welfare of the 
English nation is considered essential almost to their exist- 
ence. The consequences to us and to them cannot yet be 
clearly foreseen. If a vigour should be infused into their 
councils, the civilized world may hope for peace and tran* 
quillity at last. We have done our part, and will continue 
to protect the universe frem the political and moral depravity 
of the foe. The mind is lost in contemplating the destruction 
of a fleet, whose commander conceived his position to bid 
defiance to twice our numbers. It may with justice be 

VOL. IV. I I 



482 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

theme It would have been unnatural. An 
amiable poet and man, the present Laureat, has 



added, that the four quarters of the globe w;ll feel the 
blessings of this splendid victory/' 

In considering four such atchievements, and the respective 
periods at which they happened, with the consequences had 
we failed in the first action, it is fair to observe that they 
are so interwoven and indebted to each other, that in the 
general transport of admiration and joy at this last laurel 
to our naval brow, we ought to consider the four as one 
great link of national glory, obtained, we might almost 
add, in the West, the South, the North, and the East." 

You will receive with this first volume of our correspoad- 
ence, when I shall have -the pleasure of returning it to you 
in print, which I may now expect in a few posts, the 
particulars of a fifth triumph of the British Flag no less 
complete. Indeed, if we take into our idea of it the con- 
sequences which might have resulted from the enemy 
accomplishing his object, viz. the reinforcement to the 
half- smothered rebellion in Ireland, it must be confessed 
that the victory of Sir JOHN BORLASE WARREN was no 
less important than that of the illustrious conquerors who 
preceded him. 

There are parallel cases to be found in the history of 
nations, and some of them wonderfully exact : an instance 
of which occurs in two epochas, at the period of near forty 
years distant of each other, the one happening in 1759, the 
other at the brilliant crisis immediately before us. 

Xenophon observes, that if the Athenians, together with 
the sovereignty of the seas, had enjoyed the advantageous 
situation of an island, they might with great ease have given 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND- 483 

enabled me to give you a poetical character of 
some of the above heroes ; and what I re- 
member Dr. Johnson to have said, in a con- 
versation respecting Goldsmith, well applies 



law to their neighbours. For the same fleets which enabled 
them to ravage the Sea-coasts of the Continent at discretion, 
could equally have protected their own country from the 
insults of their enemies as long as they maintained their 
naval superiority. " One would imagine, 3 ' says the great 
Montesquieu, " that Xenophon in this passage was speaking 
of the island of Britain." A writer at that period who 
celebrated the naval conquests of England, in 1759, observes 
upon this, that the judicious and glorious exertion of our 
naval force, under the ministry then established, so strongly 
confirms Xenophon's remark, that one would imagine their 
measures were directed, as well as dictated by his consummate 
genius. We are masters both of those natural and acquired 
advantages, which Xenophon deemed necessary to make his 
countrymen invincible. We daily feel their importance 
more and more, and must be sensible that our liberty, our 
happiness, and our very existence as a people, depend upon 
our naval superiority supported by our military virtue, and 
public spirit. Nothing, humanly speaking, but luxury, 
effeminacy, and corruption can ever deprive us of this envied 
superiority. And whatever were the merits of the minister 
who presided on that day at the admiralty, they could not 
have tended more to have lifted the country to a greater 
height of eminence and glory than that it has now gained 
at a' time of much greater difficulty and peril, by the talents, 
energies, and unwearied exertions of our present First Lord 
Commissioner Earl SPENCER. 

I I 2 



484 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

Sir, a great and good man cannot easily be 
too much praised :" 

" Behold the veteran chief, victorious HOWE, 
A faded laurel tear from Gallia's brow; 
On her own shores o'erthrown her naval pride, 
Her captur'd ships in Britain's harbours ride. 
From brave CORNWALLIS* sails, in base retreat, 
Flies with inglorious speed the num'rous fleet. 
Safe in the sheltering port, he timid foe - 
Eludes of BRIDPORT'S arm the threat'ning blow; 
By peril taught with what resistless mighty 
He knew to hurl the tempest of the fight, 
And valiant JARVIS by the Iberian coast 
Pours on the faithless foe his scanty host. 
Superior squadrons rashly try in vain, 
With swarming numbers to usurp the main ; 
Strict discipline to skill and courage join'd, 
A penetrating eye, and ardent mind, 
Conceive and execute the bold design, 
His thunder break the bold extended line, 
And with a dauntless few he bears away 
The well-earn'd spoils of Britain's proudest day. 

" What trophies shall the Muse to DUNCAN raise, 
Whose worth transcends the boldest flight of praise ? 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 485 

Will all the powers man's genius can display 
Give added lustre to the beams of day ? 
His virtues shine in native worth array 'd, 
Nor want, nor ask, precarious Flattery's aid. 
Him to his senate Britain's Monarch calls ; 
His praise resounding from that senate's walls ; 
Walls where in woven tints pourtray'd are seen 
The naval triumph of the Maiden Queen. 
The delegated sons of Britain's choice 
In his applauses speak a people's voice ; 
And while from Caledonia's northern skies, 
Prolific parent of the brave and wise, 
Bursts the full strain in patriot ardour loud 
Of such a son with honest vaunting proud, 
England asserts her share of DUNCAN'S fame, 
And claims the hero in Britannia's name. 

" Nor, ONSLOW, shall the Muse to thee deny 
The warrior's meed, the wreath of victory : 
Or, gallant BURGESS, o'er thy trophied. bier 
Forget to pour the tributary tear. 
Nor the less known, though not less valiant train 
Who, nobly purging Faction's recent stain, 
Rush'd to the watery field at Glory's call, 
Unprais'd shall live, nor unlamented fall, 



486 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 

Ah, gallant race ! by bleeding victory crown'd, 

Who, while life's current stream'd from ev'ry wound, 

Cried with exulting, though with parting breath, 

* Now has our faith been prov'd !' * and smil'd in death. 

Nor o'er the tombs of those who nobly died 

Hang only pageant plumes of fun'ral pride ; 

All ranks unite to aid whom all revere, 

And wipe the widow's and the orphan's tear; 

Not opulence the boon alone bestows, 

From humbler hearts the stream benignant flows ; 

And while the chiefs of Britain's bannerd host 

Console the friends of kindred warriors lost. 

The meanest soldier of the gen'rous band, 

His scantier offering brings with lib'ral hand. 



* And the public perfectly agree with the critic that 
THE JHjBRo QF TH? N^E has found in Mr. SOTHEBY, judg- 
ment to appreciate, and genius to celebrate his exploits. Of 
this assertion what follows will be a pleasing specimen, and 
shall crown my own offering, thus strengthened by every 
auxiliary support. The tribute of an individual, it is 
true, is lost like the light of a taper amidst the universal 
radiance of a nation, but to withhold its scanty ray tfpon 
that account may as easily be construed into pride as humi- 
lity : and however I may feel that my powers as a poet are 
unequal to my subject, there can be nothing humbling at- 
tached to the consciousness of my being an Englishman, 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 487 

-NELSON, bleeding on his victor prow, 

Look'd down with pity on his prostrate foe ; 
Rear'd his proud flag a captive navy o'er ; 
And still'd with hymn of praise, the battle's roar. - 
* ALMIGHTY ! Lord of Hosts ! hear, hear our cry ] 
Thine, GOD of battle ! * thine the victory !' 



* Amongst the many things worthy of notice which this 
illustrious conquest called forth from different minds and 
memories, it was observed that in the simple and seaman, 
like le\ter of the gallant NELSON there was a beautiful 
coincidence of expression with the conqueror of France, our 
fifth Henry, after his victory : 

<( O GOD ! thy arm was here, 

And not to us, but to that arm alone 
Ascribe we ALL." 

It was further remarked, that when John SOBRISKI had 
completed the conquest of CHOEZIM, in the year 1673, and 
had delivered VIENNA from its memorable Siege, he sent the 
standards he had taken, accompanied by a letter, beginning 
with these words (( Je snls renu Je vu: DIEU a valneu." 
SOBRISKI was afterwards chosen, and very deservedly* king 
of Poland. 

How are these virtuous and elevating humiliations contrast- 
qjby the gasconade even of the truly intrepid BUONAPARTE 
" We shall regain," said he, ** the ships we have lost in 
Egypt, AT THE PORT OF LONDON!" 

As a farther proof of the sensibility of our national grati- 
tude to the naval defenders of our Country, take what follows 



488 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

41 Bold hero ! grac'd by many a noble scar- 
Whose arm, unconquer'd, fell in front of war ! 
NELSON ! a nation's voice thy name shall raise ; 
Applauding senates consecrate thy praise ; 
A grateful Monarch twine around thy head 
Wreaths that shall deck the wound where Britain bled 
But not a nation's voice that swells thy name, 
Senates that fix, and Kings that crown thy fame ; 
Nor rescu'd realms aveng'd, confer thy prize ;- 
A purer source the high reward supplies, 
Favour'd of heav'n ! fit instrument, design'd 
To stay the pestilence that wastes mankind ; 
Thy arm, again, on Ham's abtonish'd shore, 
Renews the wonders of the days of yore ; 
O'er Ocean lifts the avenger's fiery rod, 
And smites the spoiler that blasphem'd his GOD,'* 



respecting the late Capt. WESTCOTE, who lost his life in the 
Victory off the Nile. He was a native of Honiton in Devon- 
shire, and as a mark of the high respect in which he was 
held, and the deep regret for his loss, his Townsmen have 
universally gone into mourning, and have raised a large surn 
in order to erect a monument. 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 480 



LETTER XXIII. 



CROMER, Sept. 12, 1?98. 

AT is now the prime season here 
both of the ocean and the land ; and as health 
and happiness ean never be long parted, even in 
this age of separate maintenance, without both 
being the worse for it, they are, if not found 
in harmony so often as might be desired, more 
likely to be conciliated in places where they 
may receive the breezes of our tutelary Nep- 
tune than in any other part of our wave-crown- 
ed empire There, like lovers, they may go 
hand in hand, or if, lover-like, they should be 
in quarrel may kiss and be friends, unmocked 
of the world. Not that I mean to bring into 
the account, certain well-bred withering max- 



4QO GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

ims, which, though they frequently turn the 
healthy into sickness, and the sick into their 
graves, certainly compliment our better sort of 
folk with the etiquette of dying politely. No, 
truly, I speak of the charms of Nature in a sea 
village, as Nature has made them ; and I thank 
her as she has made me to feel them ; as 
they enliven my view, renovate my frame, and 
invigorate my senses as they open upon me 
the wonders and glories of the beautiful uni- 
verse in the survey of the liquid element, and 
assist me to enjoy them : in fine, as they inspire 
all that entered into, and formed the feelings 
which, with the aid of the MuSe, I attempted 
to delineate in my last. 

Albeit, this town is not, as I observed, to be 
spoken of vauntingly, you are not to conclude 
from thence that its habitations are hovels, or 
its accommodations destitute of comfort, a word 
by no means so expletive in England, as it is 
in many other parts of the world. CROMER, to 
be sure, compared with some of our high- 
ton' d watering-places, such, for instance, as 
Wey mouth, which is made royal; or Bright* 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 4gl 

helmstone, which is made princely ; and many 
. others on the coasts of Sussex, Kent, &c. &c. 
which are so be-duked, and be-dutchessed, 
be-lorded, and be-ladied, that they seem to 
think they have a title your pardon, for this 
slip of the pen into a pun td lift up their heads 
more proudly even than their waves compared 
with these, it must always be low water with my 
poor Cromer at sea, and low land on shore ; but 
only figuratively, and in the eye of Fashion ; for 
naturally, you will find it all, and much more 
than all, I have described. 

There are to be found several dwellings, 
sufficiently spacious for families, and many that 
might well content bachelor, or spinster tra- 
vellers yea, and with their appropriate attend- 
ants, the petit-Men of the one, and the petite- 
cJiat of the other their characteristic little dog 
and cat, inclusive except indeed very old 
spinsters and bachelors. Those " who libel 
the fair" assert, that in England my dear 
countrywomen then begin to have less of the 
milk of human kindness, and to that acquire 
more of the gall afloat in their constitution. Yet 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 

even in that sore case, I know not where a dis- 
appointed and repining spirit can find more 
room to compose itself than at CKOMER. Such 
a spirit has here continual opportunity of medi- 
tating on the fickleness of men and women of 
their want of feeling, and of taste. Both in the 
winds and waves it may perpetually find some- 
thing analogous to false vows, and the lovers 
who made them for that every bachelor has 
had. his heart accepted, and every spinstei* 
heard oaths which have been abused, you 
know, cannot be doubted and if, in ruminating 
along by the. margin of the main upon these 
dire wrongs, any elderly gentleman, or gentle- 
woman should be tempted to furnish the world 
with another example of what has been seen less 
frequently than the cometto wit playing the 
prank of the young Leander^ though not, like 
-lum, gaining the beloved by- a swim, yet find 
>a cure for perfidiousness, which is the same 
thing there cannot, I think, be a spat in the 
whole world of waters where such a sublime 
undertaking could be attempted with more; 
assurance of success than from any part of the 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

very cliff now before me ; nor can it be doubted 
but that the German ocean into whose friendly 
bosom a person, so disposed, might be con- 
veyed by a single jump would answer the 
comfortable purpose, to the full as well as the 
Hellespont. The libellers alluded to above 
would farther insist, that ancient masters or 
misses might expect to be received as wel- 
come guests by the brother of Pluto, and even 
by Pluto himself, and that upon moie accounts 
than one. In the first place, they would 
argue, the Roman soothsayers always offered to 
Neptune the gall of the victims, because ia 
taste it resembles the bitterness of the sea water, 
and consequently the more bitter the gall the 
more acceptable ; besides, would they say, 
ancient single personages are amongst the con- 
secrated things of the infernal Jupiter, who is 
known to have a particular objection to the 
number two Consequently all the number ones 
would be amongst the auspicious beings sacred 
to him so that instead of leading apes in the 
mythological Erebus, with which they are 
threatened, the venerable bands will probably be 
1 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 

presented on their first descent into hell with a 
bouquet of the hallowed cypress ; and for ever 
after occupy the appropriate symbols the 
distaff, the spindle, and the scissars, and sit 
like the Parcas on the right hand of Proserpine, 
the dog Cerberus at their feet to guard them 
from future annoyance, and the Lethean river 
to enable them to forget past injuries. 

I have thus been led with great good humour 
to throw out friendly hints for an emergency 
an affair of life and death in the mean time all 
sorts of people resolved upon this world may 
be very well accommodated. 

If you wish your local habitation to the sea, 
there are pleasant houses standing on the verge 
of the cliff; and if more inland, you have a 
choice of dwellings that give you the fragrance 
of gardens, and the verdure of fields. The 
dwelling,* for example, in which I am writing 



* It is the* property of two worthy sisters, of the name of 
COOK, who are at this time in mourning for the last of their 
parents. They let part of their house to assist in procuring a 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 4Qo 

to you, should it be unoccupied when you 
arrive here, might be recommended as enjoying 
a combination of these agremens : it stands in a 
side direction of the town, has an unobstructed 
view of lawny hills, and waving corn-fields in 
front, a slanted prospect of the ocean expands 
to the right, and to the left a wood, which, 
though within a few paces of the " watry deep," 
has neither been stinted of its growth nor 
damaged in its foliage. I must, however, con- 
fess, that in point of advantage, a timber mer- 
chant would exclaim, that the trees were too 
numerous had been planted too near each 
other ; * it must be owned, also, that, in con- 



respectable livelihood ; their brother is a heart-sound Eng- 
lish sailor, who passes the intervals between his voyages 
with his- sisters, and not only lends a hand to keep all in the 
Cromer Cabin tight and trim, but whea the wind sits con- 
trary and blows hard in shore, helps them to weather it. 
This hint will not be thrown away upon my correspondent or 
his friends. 

* " Cromer-hall is placed in an amphitheatre of woods, 
which not only shut out all sight of the neighbouring ocean, 
but seem even to exclude the very idea of its vicinity to that 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

sequence the vegetation is so interwoven, the 
verdure* would be thought too much in a mass 
for critics of picturesque beauty : the whole 
green top is as compact as a colliflower, and 
has really something of its general shape,, and 
clumpy appearance; the leaves and branches 
being in a manner stuck together ; but had you 
been here for the two past days, which have 
been so intensely torrid that the very sea, earth, 
and air looked overpowered with heat, neither 
you^ nor a Price, a Repton, or a Gilpin -no, 
nor even the timber-merchant would have 
wished a single leaf taken from the verdant ca- 
nopy under which I am just come from taking 
shelter : and glad was I to find it impenetrable 
to the beam of that Sun which the night breeze 
which is only beginning to respire, while the 



boisterous element, whose continual murmurings are so mixed 
with the rustling of the trees, as scarcely 'to be distinguished, 
except when some powerful north-west wind asserts its right 
of being heard. After a pleasant walk through the grove to 
the summit of the hill, a most delightful view of the sea and 
the town of Cromer presents itself/' 

HISTORY OF NORFOLK. 



Cf LEANINGS. IN ENGLAND^ 4Q? 

curfew is tolling has scarcely attempered.- 
This green asylum belongs to Crbmer-Hall, of 
which if is the defence in front, as- a grove that 
corresponds is a screen .behind. B<pth are the 
property of a/ gentleman whose affable manners 
and liberal disposition have gained him the 
hearts riot of this, neighbourhood only, but 
wheresoever he is known ; and Cromer-wood 
does not afford a more agreeable shade to the 
rich and prosperous, than Cforrier-Hall does a 
resting place when its master is resident^- to 
the poor and unfortunate. 

The excursions from this place, in every 
point of the compass land and sea- ward * 
whether made on foot, on horse-back, in 
carriages, or in boats, within the circle of a 
dozen miles, present somewhat to keep you well 
amused, and bring you back satisfied, and in 
good spirits to the point from which you set 
out. 

The particulars, ekher necessary or pleasant 
to be known, respecting those places^ when 
disencumbered of the intolerable load, with 
which the county historians have burthened 

VOL. iv. K K 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

them their enfeoffments, licences, presenta- 
tions, descents and bequests may be brought 
into narrow compass, even as a cup of codes 
might be taken from a bushel of shells. The 
scenes and objects which will afford you the 
most satisfaction in your little tours from this 
place, and which may be said to form its 
neighbourhood, will be found at FELBRIGG, 

SlSTED, GUNTON, ALBOROUGH, ANTINGHAM, 

WALSHAM and CLEY. In accounts of these 
I perceive the tourists have followed one an- 
other : I shall use the liberty of retrenching, 
compressing, or adding to> as well as, own 
myself indebted to the assistance of all. 

Felbrigg, the seat of William Wkidham, 
Esq. is by nature one of the most beautiful 
situations in Norfolk. In the park, which is 
very extensive, there is more uneven ground 
than in any other in this county ; nor has art 
been less bountiful ; the woods are large and 
-ancient : -in the centre of the greatest is an 
irregular oval of about four acres, surrounded 
with a broad belt of lofty silver firs ; on enter- 
ing which the eye is enchanted, without at first 

a 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 4Q9 

perceiving why it is so ; probably, from the 
contrast made by this unvaried green to the 
diversified, tints of the other forest trees, which 
are every where mixed in the rest of the grove, 
and which the lofty ever-greens entirely ex- 
clude. 

From another part of the road an extensive 
prospect demands attention through a break in 
the grove, from whence the irregular ground of 
the park is seen to the greatest advantage: 
Norwich spire, at about twenty miles distance, 
terminates the view. 

From the upper part of the wood the sea 
presents itself, but not so strikingly to your eye 
as from the new plantation, which will in a 
few years conceal that pleasing object from 
the eye, but only to display it at another 
point in awful majesty. jvn; 

The house which has been considerably en- 
larged by the Windham family is large and 
convenient. But the old style of architecture 
observable in the south front has been happily 
kept up in the hall, and in the library, which 
is well furnished with the most valuable authors, 
K K 2 



50O GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

and contains a capital collection of prints from 
the best masters. 

iisff Mr. Windam's plantations," says the au- 
thor of the Tour of Norfolk, " are designed 
to answer- two purposes,, to ornament and belt 
his park, and to extend his great woodland 
scene nearer the sea, towards which, at two 
miles distance it forms a grand bulwark, 
from whence he looks down an easy declivity, 
over a bold shore, to an unlimited prospect on 
the German ocean." 

The general utility of inclosing commons and 
waste lands has long been a subject of much 
debate. I have already touched upon it, my 
dear Baron, in a former part of our correspond- 
ence. It is, in truth, too important a part of 
national improvement to be hastily passed over. 
Many ingenious and distinguished men have 
written upon, and encouraged it ; amongst 
others, the Earl of WINCHILSEA and Mr. 
KENT, i The former, with a spirit that com- 
bines public ceconomy with private benevo- 
lence, has tried the- good to be derived from 
this measure on his late waste ground upon his 

2 



GLEANINGS IS ENGLAND. 5O1 

own estate, and Mr. KENT is a strong advocate 
for it. The facts stated .in his accoun^ of the 
improvement made at Felbrigg, seem- t;o justify 
his conclusions, he says,;" the parish of Felbrigg 
consists of about thirteen hundred acres of land, 
and till the year 177V remained time put of 
^lind in the following state : :four. hundred; acres 
of inclosed, one hundred of wood-land, four 
hundred of common-field, and four hundred of 
common or heath. By authentic registers at 
different periods, it appeared, that the number 
of souls had never been known to exceed one 
hundred and twenty-four ; which was the 
number in 1745 ; in 1777 they were only one 
hundred and twenty-one; at this time (17Q4) 
they amount to one hundred and seventy-four." 
This rapid increase Mr. Kent attributes chiefly 
to the recent improvements made in the parish, 
by inclosing all the common-field land, and 
converting most of the common into arable 
land and plantations. Farther to strengthen 
his opinion of the benefits of incloSttre, Mr. 
Kent remarks, that the parish of Weyburn, 
' 



502 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. * 

consisting of about the same quantity of unen- 
closed common and 'common-fields, as Felbrigg 
did, has not increased of late in population. 

A still farther light is thrown on the subject 
by VANCOUVER, in his Survey of a county we 
shall visit in its turn I mean Cambridgeshire. 

The above diligent and accurate observer, 
from a due consideration of the information he 
acquired in the survey of that part of England, 
has made it clearly evident, that the complete 
and effectual drainage of one hundred and fifty 
thousand acres of fen land would produce an 
additional revenue to the proprietors only, an 
augmented rent of ..75,000 O O 

That the laying into seve- 
ralty, or generally enclosing 
one hundred and thirty- two 
thousand acres, of open com- 
mon-field arable land, would 
yield an additional rent of . . . . 52,800 00 

That a general improve- 
ment of the coarse and rough 



Carried on .127,800 O 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 503 

Brought over ---- .1 27,800 O o 

pastures, amounting to about 
nineteen thousand eight hun- 
dred acres, would produce an 
increased rent of' .... ...... , 9,48? 1O - y k 

That the enclosing seven 
thousand five hundred acres of 
highland common, would pro- 
duce, in addition to its present .$& gs&fybs 
estimated value, an increased 
income of ............... .- 4,125 O O 

That the draining, properly 
improving, and enclosing eight k"<nj 

thousand acres of fen or moor 
common, would necessarily pro- 
duce an increased rent upon its 

present value of ........... 4,000 O 

iiv/ ILs vjjf hftisrs^iwcjiJiDs ^"li-sn^vinu <..i -i 
That laying into severalty, 

4: floi^Lier-- sdi, tsrf*. .'v^ci :.): iso^usa c& 
draining, and improving two 



-, * - r . , -/ 

thousand acies of half yearly 

jmi^^:ijf,Qs;i2f!O'K "; a-^ 

meadow Iand 3 would produce 

La r 
an encreased rent of .... ...... 850 O o 



Carried pn .146,262 10 - 



04 GLEANINGS IX EXGLANB, 

Total improvement of 
which the county is capa- 
ble according to the forgo- 
big statements, is . 446,262 10 

ns?33 > gir,ohi'i 

Stating the ' increased 
produce, at thriee the in- 
creased rent, hence per dpfo 
to the public . . . . .' i' y yW . -' ^.438,787 10 Q 



Which at thirty years' 
purchase, would increase 
the value of the national } \^ 
capital to the amount of . . . 1 3, 1 63,62 5 Q 

.-,.' . ati -'fiou j/!s 



C<. 000,^ ........... lo Stoter it* 

It is universally acknowledged, by all writers 

on political oeconomy, .that the population of 
a country must ever depend upon the means, 
which it possesses ; and the proper Application of 
those means for subsisting its inhabitants. 
Britain, at this time, unquestionably possesses^ 
e unemployed means of subsisting, in addition 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 505 

to her present numbers, one third more of in- 
habitants; that such an augmentation must be 
deemed politically right there can be no ques- 
tion; because the internal strength, and pro- 
ductive labour of the nation would be encreased. 
By inviting to early marriage the peasantry of the 
.country, who under their present want of con- 
fidence, that their industry will enable them to 
support an infant offspring, are not allured to 
the gratification of an early and generous 
passion, which is", doubtless, of the highest 
political as well as moral consequence. Hence 
the rapid increase of the inhabitants of North- 
America, where, by a propagation only, ex- 
clusive of the accession of foreigners, their 
numbers are estimated at double in twenty -eight 
years. That the objects for the employment of 
the poor would be multiplied, there can be no 
doubt, when we look at the additional quantity 
of labour, the country will demand from a 
general enclosure. The fencing, draining, clay- 
ing, marling, ploughing, sowing, reaping, 
mowing, threshing, that will then be necessary 
tt> attend to; over and above what the business 



506 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

of the country, at this time, produces, are 
objects, which, from their employment of the 
poor, cannot fail creating in the most essential 
degree, the greatest moral and political advan- 
tages ; whilst the idle objection, that in the 
event of a general enclosure, there would be 
more land thrown into pasture than there ought 
to be, is too weak and frivolous to deserve 
attention. n<n^ 

The pursuit of this very momentous subject 
has made a pause in the picturesque beauty of 
the village scenery in the environs of Cromer: 
but you must not call, indeed, I think, you 

A 

will not feel it, a digression. 

The enclosure of a country will very mate- 
rially assist and add to pictorial beauty. If long 
tracts of rugged heath-ground, or of barren 
sand, gapped and encavemed by the burrowing 
rabbit, with here and there a solitary hut, wild 
and desolate, and made more sad by the wail of 
.the plover, can be meliorated into cheerful 

, ' 

pasturage, bounteous corn fields, flowery 
hedge-rows, and future groves ; if the dreary 
hut can be replaced by the more comfortable 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 507 

cottage, and the sweet note of the linnet suc- 
ceed to the plaint of the pewit, and the cot- 
tagers hereby find a screen and a fence, instead 
of any thing being taken from them, Hu- 
manity itself will deliver in a prayer to die 
Committee of Agriculture, for the enclosure of 
the comparatively waste land of a benevolent 
country. 

Let us return, my Friend, to our village ex- 
cursions. SISTED lies at the back of FELBRIGG 
Park, and, after turning the overshot wheel of 
Gresham-mill, a little brook, important from 
events, takes its course through the parish ; 
it then, by its meander, increases the beauty of 
Mr. Doughty's Park at Hanworth ; from thence 
again it rises in its claims, by becoming useful 
to a mill at Alborough ; at length, after making 
a pleasing labyrinth, it empties itself into the 
Bure near Lammass. i *3i 

Upon the banks of this little stream which, 
though barely covering its gravelly bottom, 
abounds with trout are the remains of a once 
proud edifice, the seat of the DAMME s : what 
is most perfect of the foundation appears to have 



5O8 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

appertained to a square building with large but- 
tresses, surrounded by a moat, and the rivulet 
is embanked with a stone wall on one side for at 
least seventy-five yards from the building. In 
a few years even these vestiges of its former 
dignity for they crumble to the touch will 
be hidden even from the antiquary. The name 
of the manor, SUSTEAD, late DAMMES some 
meagre inscriptions on brass in the church, and 
the preceding account of the family preserved 
by Blomfield, are the sole traces of people who 
once commanded the hat, and the knee of the 
vassal-neighbourhood. The contemplatist, how- 
ever, finds an obvious moral in their ruins. If 
the former Lords fixed their happiness in pageant 
hospitality, rather than in unostentatious 
bounty in pride of ancestry more than mental 
accomplishments, in the smile of great ones 
like themselves, rather than in the blessings 
of the indigent, how would they blush to 
know, that under the same roof their undistin^ 
guished dust lies mixed with the humble ashes 
of Elizabeth Lowe. 

Amidst the unmeaning tribute necessarily 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 50CJ 

paid to many families in a work of this kind, 
observe the Compilers of the History of Nor- 
folk-: merely because their ancestors had 
though^ perhaps, undeservedly obtained fa- 
vours from our first William* let the antiquary, 
or the genealogist, permit us to mention the 
name of Saint CLAIR, without tracing it back to 
the reign of Alfred ; for though we - could, 
perhaps, gratify them with a long pedigree, as 
she did not make this her boast, we will only 
say that Mrs. Elizabeth Lowe was ' the only 
daughter of Patrick St. Clair, a respectable cler- 
gyman that she passed the greatest part of her 
life in the fondest filial attendance on her aged 
and infirm father and lest she should be in- 
terrupted in these tender duties to her widow'd 
and bereaved parent^ she continued single till 



* I must confess I do not myself see the necessity of pay- 
ing tribute to the undeserving in any work ; though I might 
feel it right, as an Historian, to notice their lineal honours or 
possessions. All the WILLIAMS put together, with all the 
fortunes that may have pursued their favourites, since the 
landing of the First, is not a just ground for tribute unsup- 
ported by higher pretensions. 



51O GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND* 

after his death, when she married the Rev. Mr. 
Lowe, Rector of Stukey, the picturesque vil- 
lage already described. 

To give a just idea of the character of this 
unassumingly good being, it is needless to string 
the common-place epithets with which monu- 
ments are generally loaded ; it is enough to say, 
that those with whom she conversed or corre- 
sponded were always pleased or instructed by 
her wisdom, and that those near whom she lived 
were made happy by her benevolence. 

The house in which she resided, you will 
perceive, sequestered as was its mistress; it is 
in the middle of a little farm, which she orna- 
mented with several small plantations. It is 
now in the occupation of the very ingenious 
Mr, HUMPHRY REPTON, to whom the Norfolk 
historians acknowledge themselves obliged for 
many of the drawings with which their work is 
embellished ; and they might have observed 
further, whose' elegant taste in the disposition, 
as well as ornament of ground, has added to 
the embellishments of Nature herself. 

The church is a small building surrounded 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 511 

-by sycamore trees, over whose tops appears its 
white round tower : the ground rises agreeably, 
and presents an engaging view to the north, 
over an extensive lawn of rich pasture land, 
intersected by venerable oak, and bounded by 
a full view of the south front of Felbrigg, 
boldly relieved by the magnificent wood be- 
hind. 

GUNTON-HALL, the seat of Lord SUFFIELD, 
has been greatly enlarged and ornamented with 
entire new offices under the direction of Mr. 
WYATT. They are thought to be by far the 
most complete buildings for the purpose of any 
thing in the kingdom; they are particularly 
worthy the attention of strangers, as well for 
their light elegance, and for conveniency in the 
apartments, as for a beautiful slate covering, 
which glitters to the sun-ray like spar: they are 
formed of small square pieces of slate, each 
fastened by a screw of wood. 

Not far from the house is the parish church, 
which, by the late Sir William Harbord was 
taken down and rebuilt, with a magnificent 
portico of the Doric order; this receives an 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 

additional degree of sanctity from two Druid- 
looking oaks, which grace its front. 

The situation of the house, though on an 
eminence, is said by connoisseurs, not to have 
been well chosen. It commands a large piece 
of water, yet as the ground about it is flat and 
swampy, this rather chills the sight than im- 
proves the prospect. 

The quantity of game in the neighbouring 
plantations, particularly hares and pheasants, is 
astonishing, and they are preserved with the 
most rigid attention- to the game -laws. 

So says Armstrong and Co.; so likewise must 
your correspondent say, but the latter has 
something to adjoin. The different sorts of 
game, are not only injurious to the lands, but 
almost a nuisance to the public road, along on 
each side, and over which they run, and fly, in 
every possible direction and with so little 
apparent fear of what awful man, that general 
alarmer, can do unto them, that the common 
order of things is reversed: for instead of the man 
terrifying the birds and beasts of the field, the 
beasts and the birds terrify the man. The coy 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 513 

pheasant, and the timid hare forget in a manner 
their nature, and seem to feel they have rights 
and privileges as well as their masters : at any 
rate they take their walks and flyings in a 
sauntering mode, like other protected ariimals ; 
and that so consciously., not to say saucily, in 
the present instance, that even the Gleaner's 
horse, who is not easily put out of his way, was 
somewhat flurried at a brace of hares crossing 
his path unexpectedly, chacing each other for 
mere frolic, like a couple of kittens and really 
seeming to care no more either for man or 
horse than if we had been two of the trees in 
his lordship's plantations; and at the whir of the 
first covey of partridges, that without any 
warning, rose from a sun-bank at an opening 
about a mile on the Walsford side of Gunton, 
my poor steed was as much startled as his rider. 
For the truth of all this or what is a counterpart 
of this every traveller on this road will testify ; 
and it is in many respects seriously incon- 
venient, but in counterpoise of this evil there/ 
is a great deal of good. The noble owners of 
Gunton-Hall -have -a large share of public and 
VOL. iv. L L 



514 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

private benevolence : the first is shewn in 
assisting the loyal defenders of their country 
with ample supplies of blankets, sheets, and 
other comforts of that kind, and abundant 
proofs of the latter, in the heart-cheering shapes 
of wine sent to the sick, money to the industrious, 
and relief to the deserving poor, according to 
their several necessities a benevolence that 
promises to be hereditary as Lady LOUISA'S 
cottage rides of charity demonstrate. I leave it 
to the arithmetic of the mind, my dear Baron, 
to settle the balance, as to this fondness for the 
remains of a favourite amusement, the preser- 
vation of the game on the Gunton manors, 
considering these liberalities as a set-off. I 
have, however, to observe further, in addition to 
these gracious deeds, that Lord ***** not only 
employs a number of keepers to drive the 
game from the estates of his neighbours into his 
pwn grounds every evening with springing- 
spaniels, to prevent the depredations of the 
night, but he under-lets all the farms in his 
vicinity to hinder the tenantry from feeling 
themselves aggrieved. Would to heaven, my 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 516 

friend, all men .in power could produce such 
per controls of good for the injuries which 
are occasioned to society by their amusements. 

I cannot entirely leave Gunton behind us till I 
mention a particular anecdote respecting it. 
No less than three families confederated to 
prevent the enlargement of the property of the 
manor, namely, the Kemp, Briggs > and a third 
family, the name of which I have forgot. 
Each of these had a considerable estate in, or 
near Gunton, and each had pre-determined not 
to part with an inch of ground to the Harbords> 
which is the proper name of the now Suffield 
family. That power, however, which over-rules 
human pre-determinations- the pre-determina^ 
tions, alas ! of us poor mole-sighted mortals, who 
cannot foresee the event of the next second of 
time had ordered it otherwise; one of the 
families died ; another was driven to one of the 
hardest circumstances, to which, in that situation, 
it could experience in misfortune, viz. the 
necessity of deriving relief by a mortgage on hia 
estate to these very Harbords; and the third 
party fell off soon after, by which means, every 
L L 2 



5l6 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND* 

inch of ground belonging to the three came 
into the possession of the family who now inherit. 
Long, however,, before these singular events 
took place, a very extraordinary expression is 
said to have fallen from a shrewd old man of 
the neighbourhood, who happened to be at 
work in a wood which was then the property of 
the Brigg's. They ^meaning the Harbords 
have laid their hands, you see, on the property 
of mv neighbours, said one of the Brigg's, but 
I fancy they'll never get hold of mine : what 
think you, my friend ? My woods look rather 
in too thriving a condition for that Hey, what 
say 'you, honesty ? 

I say, quoth the labourer, drily, that to my 
thinking the trees lean rather too much towards 
G 'icnt 'on. / 

The old man's prophecy has been fulfilled. 
Not a twig but has been conveyed to the Har- 
bords. 

At North Walford, you will find a good 
inn, a good country town, and a much better 
country. 

CLEY is a small sea-port on the northern 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 517 

coast of Norfolk. Of late years some baths 
have been erected for invalids, but with little 
success. It lies about a mile .east from Blakeney, 
and nine from Wells. Blakeney was formerly 
a very considerable port- town, and much fre- 
quented by your German merchants ; but 
Cley does not appear ever to have been of any 
eminence. Yet inconsiderable as it now is, it 
is memorable in history upon one account. In 
the reign of Henry IV. in the year 140(1, the 
eighth of that King, the heir apparent to the 
crown of Scotland, the son of Robert Bruce, 
being on a voyage to France, was taken by 
some seamen belonging to Cley, and carried to 
the King. He was attended by the earl of 
Orkney, and was going to France to learn the 
language. The name of this prince was James. 
When Henry heard he was taken, he said, 
laughingly, " My brother -of Scotland might 
as well have sent him to me, for I can speak 
French." On the royal captive being brought 
to court, Henry confined both the prince anci 
the earl in the Tower of London, where they 
remained eighteen years ) and so ended his 



518 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

Majesty of England's joke. Methinks it was 
carrying it rather too far notwithstanding. But, 
alas ! my Friend, the very jest of a tyrant has 
often been the destruction of his victim ; for how- 
ever the Panther may sport with his prey, his very 
amusement is fatal, he suffers it to linger in torture, 
and at last puts it to death. O what dire examples 
of this wantonness discolour the rubric History 
of Power ! too many of them must lie bleeding 
in your memory and we will fly from the 
blushing subject to the place where even cc the 
wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are 
at rest." 

On a grave-stone in the church-yard here, 
you read " Of your charite pray for the souls 
of John Symonds, merchent, and Agnes his 
wife; the which John decessed the 14 day of 
January, the yere of our LORD, M. 5, 8 ; and 
the said Agnes decessed the last day of May, 
M. 5, 12." You will see their portraitures in 
their winding sheets, and under them those of 
eight children in brass, and about the stone, 
brass labels inscribed " Now THUS." 

The labels Now THUS, bear the same 
7 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 5Ip 

inscription with the motto of Sir Clement 
Trafford, of Dunton-hall, in Lincolnshire. 
The occasion of its being taken by the Traf- 
fbrds, is said to be as follows : In the civil war 
between Charles I, and his Parliament, the 
gentleman in possession, siding with the king, 
was eagerly sought after by the parliament 
faction, and his life being in danger, he dis- 
guised himself in a coat of many patches, and 
like a common labourer, was found threshing 
with a flail in the barn ; by his motley dress, and 
giving no answer to his pursuers, who were mak- 
ing inquiries after him, -except Now THUS, 
Now THUS, at every stroke of the flail, he 
was taken for an idiot, and happily escaped. 
A man in a fool's coat with a flail in his hand, 
in memory of the above circumstance, is still 
borne by the TrafFords as their crest ; and the 
motto to the arms, is, Now THUS, alluding to 
the answer made by this ancestor. 

In the church-yard is an altar tomb: In 
memory of John Greve, an assistant of Sir 

: , . G"|ff 

Cloudesley Shovel, in burning the ships in the 
port of Tripoli, in Barbary, January 14, 1676, 



620 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

for his good services made captain of the 
Orange Tree by King Charles II. 

The coast in this neighbourhood has been 
deemed fortunate in producing many brave sea- 
men and admirals ,* who have given it celebrity. 
Between Cley -j* and Stukey; at Gockthorpe, a 
village with only three houses in it, w.ere born 
Sir Cloudesley Shovel,, whose monument you 
will see in Westminster Abbey., as . likewise a 
criticism of its false lustre in the English Spec- 
tator, Sir John Narborough, and Sir Christo- 
pher Minns, and at Docking, Sir Edward, 
afterwards Lord Hawke, justly immortalized 
in the annals of his country. 

A ride in an opposite direction by the sea, 
through Blakeney, is also a picturesque treasure 
in reserve for you, and altogether different from 
any yst mentioned : the road winds into a 
sequestered valley, shut but from the ocean by a 
bold uncultivated hill. To the right the grounds 



* Our glorious NELSON is also a Norfolk hero. 

. "f CLEY is twelve miles from CR.OMER, four from HOLT, 
twenty -five from -NORWICH. 



GLEANINGS IX ENGLAND. 621 

shelve from the road into a narrow vale. In this 
little woody hollow is a village half seen 
among straggling trees : the steeple is uncom- 
monly in picture ; half of it is hid by a rising 
slope, three fourths of the church obscured by 
a thicket. The opposite hill rises with magnifi- 
cence; it presents "a large inclosure, under 
the deep shade of a very noble wobd^ which 
to the right overhangs another valley, and is in 
part lost behind a regular bare hill of a conic 
form,, which rises from the junction of the 
vales, and almost screens a distant range of 
rising inclosure. Immediately onward, is a 
sloping tract of fields, and above them wild 
rising ground, with a white tower peeping from 
it. The whole forms one of those pensile, and 
yet not unpleasing scenes, in which POUSSIN de- 
lighted ; it would have been worthy of such a pen- 
cil; it is deserving that of our DE LOUTHERBURG. 

September, 20th. 

YOUR returns to CROMER from all these places, 
and a variety of others are in a superior style of 
beauty. And your revisitation of the beach 



522 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

and the marine objects, after you have for a few 
hours embowered yourself in deep vallies, or 
thick woven woods, or between hills, that shut 
out the main ocean, and invite only the fresh 
rivulet, has a peculiar charm. I have expe- 
rienced this to-day in a similar tour, passing an 
hour both before I set out and after my return 
in a beach-walk. In the former period it was 
low water, and I never saw the beach you 
have in mind its being one of the finest on the 
English coast so entirely perfect. It was at 
early morn; not a foot of any kind had im- 
pressed it. Some sea-gulls, with their heads 
nestled under their wings, were reposing on 
their liquid beds; a small bird, the water-wag- 
tail, was running along the smooth expanse, 
with steps lighter than those of Camilla over 
the unbending com? The fish-boats had not 
returned with the fortune of the night ; one 
solitary man stood aloof at a projection of the 
cliff^ shrinking as it were from my eyes as they 
looked up to him, in the degree that most 
likely I was diminishing from his on looking 
down upon me. The sun had risen sublimely, 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 523 

and innumerable little rays from every grain of 
sand seemed to rejoice while they sparkled in 
his beams ; a sylph-wing' d zephyr presently rose 
as from the deep, and the scarce perceptible 
dimpling of the placid water looked as if it 
marked the place of its ascending from a 
couch of coral. Its union, however, appeared 
to gain strength as it winnowed the light surface 
of the beach ; and others, of the breeze-family 
soon emerged as if in pursuit of the fugitive. 
The bosom of the sea was softly agitated, as in 
sympathy; patches of surf were lightly thrown, 
and left partially on the beach, frothed an<][ 
bubbled; every bubble of a different colour by 
the refractions of the sun, and sea, and clouds;- 
green, yellow, purple, blue, sapphire, crimson, 
and each of the most exquisite tints and they 
might be said to tremble, to the breeze, which 
sported about them the latter, however, too 
light either to injure or remove them; and 
every bubble was gemm'd, and brighter than 
the sand-ray. How how did I sigh for some 
one whom I loved, to point at this, for I had 
never before noticed it! I was, entirely 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

alone, and to the (extent of the horizon for a 
few minutes, the sea and the shore might be 
called my own. As I glanced my eye along 
the lawny surface of the beach, a thought 
with the aerial lightness of yet another of the 
sylphed train, sprung instantly from my mind, 
and with a reed I had plucked . in the preceding 
evening's ramble, I wrote what follows, 

ON THE SANDS. 

Thou emblem of the youthful breast ! 
Thoughts, fair or foul, may be impress'd 
On thy smooth face; but not like thee, 
C&n youths' once tainted mind be free, 
Nor foul be fair with the next ti(Je, 
The minds' pollution must abide: 
Alas ! if that pure shrine you stain, 
Seas cannot wash it white again : 
Guardians of Youth, then, O take care ! 
Th' impressions that YE give, be FAIR. 

When I had made these fugitive verses 
legible, I heard the sound of voices near me, 
and finding they proceeded from a groupe of 
bathing ladies, with their attendant nymphs, 
y'clept waiting-women, and followed by the 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 525" 

salt- water- guides I had almost said mermaids, 
for they are amphibious kind of things, living 
in the Summer almost as much in as out of 
water I re-ascended the cliff by a remote 
flight of steps cut through them, and regained 
my pleasant abode. In my afternoon walk, 
when the tide was coming in, I had the curi- 
osity if you will allow it the fondness to 
revisit as nearly as I could remember, the 
spot where I had traced the lines. The origi- 
nal, however, was " in the flat sea sunk" the 
victim of the waves : Oh ! that they had never 
destroyed things of more value, or. less to b^ 
lamented. At the same time, as they were a 
spontaneous effusion of a passing thought, you 
will receive the copy my memory has retained, 
and not be extreme to mark what you may find 
in them amiss. 



526 GLEANINGS IN ENGtAtffc* 



LETTER 



CROMER, Sept. 22, 1798, 

length I receive your packet. Next 
to the society of a friend there can be nothing 
so dear as his correspondence* You have given 
my heart a fresh proof of this ; and with all 
the ardour you have excited in that heart, it 
thanks you. Ah! how sincerely do I wish, in 
return for this gratification, that I could reply 
to all your inquiries satisfactorily. In regard to 
those which concern the " English Doctor/* 
whom you saw with our party in Holland, and 
from whom I had my Gleaning of Leyden.* 






* Vide account of Leyden University, by Dr. 
Gleanings, Vol. II. Letter XL VI. page 308, of the fourth 
edition. 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 52? 

I have to inform you that the insatiate spirit of 
war, which plunders us in such variety of ways, 
. stealing friends, relatives, lovers, and all who 
are most precious to us, from our arms, had 
taken this long- valued treasure from me. He 
has been employing however his talents for 
the benefit of his country, by attending our 
army in his professional appointment of phy- 
sician. Suivant la Fortune de Guerre he 
Has visited several of the West-India Islands, 
some of the Colonies of South, many of 
the states of North- America, and, in the last 
place, our angry sister-kingdom, Ireland. He 
has been in occasional communications with 
me from all these places. He has an eye to 
observe, and a judgment to discriminate ; and 
were I at liberty to give to you and the Public, 
his marks and . remarks, they would form inte- 
resting Gleanings of interesting Situations, and 
interesting Countries. But, although I cannot 
do this, I am not without the hope that on 
some future occasion of greater leizure, he will 
not continue to think it unbecoming his pro- 
fessional duties to present them to the world. 
* " **'. * - v 1 *" 



5 '28 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND'. 

The prescriptive gravity that in some degree 
still attaches to all the liberal professions in this 
country, is not a little amusing to persons 
determined to see men and things as they really 
are. Such of our younger clergy as would be 
thought canonical, must be attired not only in 
their suit of sables., . but if not wigged, must 
have the hair in a school-boy crop to the nape 
of the neck, though, this indeed, is now 
amongst the insignia of our young patriots or, 
it must be worn so stiff in buckle, that, if 
impowdered, which is another right patriotic 
symbol, and we have, I can tell you, our 

patriot priests and high-priests it might pass on 

i 

certain dark heads, for what we call in Britain 
a black-pudding, in Italy a polonie, en- 
wreathed from ear. to ear : Yea, and as they 
are to become pillars of the church, it is 
presumed they think it necessary to stand as 
upright as the pillars of a cloister. It is pretty 
much the same with our lawyers, I -mean the 
counsellor part of them. The flowing locks 
of many a templar, and the fair redundant curls 
of many a barrister, are the most unprofessional 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 52Q 

articles that learned gentlemen, so are they all 
technically called, could enter into a court of 
justice with. Indeed, were they not forcibly 
tucked under the tye-wig, before their owner 
appeared at the bar, they might, perhaps, serve 
to ground an action of trespass : but should a 
learned gentleman presume to open a matter of 
any importance thus headed and thus hair'd, 
there is so little doubt of his losing the cause 
by the uproar of ridicule that must follow, that 
I should think the client might come upon him, 
if not for heavy damages, or for a new trial, at 
least for return of the fees. I am not sure^ 
whether pleading a writ of error, might excuse 
him to the court without a reprimand from 
the bench. Then, for our doctors: alas! 
youth is in itself an unpardonable fault in an 
English physician ; and while nature continues 
this impediment, it must pro tempore be dis- 
guised as much as possible. Why, my dear 
Baron, a theatrical stripling does not find it 
more difficult to engraft the old man's beard, 
and wrinkles, on his unrazor'd lips, and 
polished brow in short, to .unmake himself, 
VOL. iv. MM 



53O GLEANINGS IN EN<?LANJ>. 

for some " withered winter rogue/' like Old 
Renault in the tragedy, or for some fashionable 
cripple, like Old Chalkstone in the comedy, 
than doth a youthful doctor of physic in this- 
island, to fit himself up for the solemnities of 
the medical character. 

Whatever may be the honours of a doctorial 
head interiorly, not an attenuated hair of the 
exterior must dare to wander from the wig 
pharmacopolic, unless disciplined into something 
of dignity : a pale visage, measured step, and 
stately deportment, are recommendations at the 
English medical college, even in the degree 
that they are objectionable in an English ball- 
room, and though a fine head of hair is some- 
times given by nature to the sons of jEscula- 
pius, they must either tuck it very adroitly up,, 
as one of their surgeons bandage a broken limb^ 
or they must borrow the scissars of one of their 
apothecaries to amputate it, for these goddesses 
of scissars the fates and the college, and 
even the patients themselves, will have it. so. 
As if the gloom and ghastly appearances of 
the unhealthy reflected on the countenance,. 



.GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 521 

and dispiriting the air of the feeling prac- 
titioner, were not a sufficient passport to the 
sick chamber. 

I have thrown over this subject a little more 
sport than it may soberly warrant : but there 
really is a good deal more attention shewn to the 
apparatus and trappings of a profession than is 
necessary; and one is sometimes tempted to 
think more respect is paid to the shadow than 
the substance, to the wig, for instance,, than to 
the head it covers, " and to the cane, than to the 
sagacious nose which, smells thereat. It is well 
for your friend, perhaps you will think,, that th~ 
good doctor who has made the pen thus playful 
about the paraphernalia of physic, is not, cane- 
in-hand, immediately within hearing ! 

I do not after all, expect to remove old for-* 
malities ; all I contend for, is, that there should 
be no ceremony so absurd as to make it thought 
indecorous or derogatory to the dignity of the 
diploma, or the long robe, or the short one, 
if their wearers appropriate some of the leisure, 

that more or less happens in the most active 
^, * 

employments, either to write, or to publish 

M M 2 



532 GLEANINGS IN ENGLANB. 

what may be written, on topics which are useful 
.to the community, whether professional or not. 
In truth, had our lawyers, divines, and phy- 
sicians, inviolably, adhered only to their pro- 
fessional discussions, the country must have been 
deprived of many of the curious, erudite, and 
beautiful compositions which now adorn it. 

It is with unfeigned pleasure I am able to 
inform you, that, after visiting so many various 
parts of the globe, and contending with all the 
dangers of disease, and of war, our doctorial 
friend is at length returned among us, and you 
will believe that I am one of those who hope 
that he has escaped from all his perils, to re- 
sume the professional employment for which he 
is so eminently qualified in the busy round of 
London. I do not wonder at your solicitude to 
know more of the Irish conflict. It occupies the 
active world ; and the friends, and enemies, of 
England are looking on it with equal vigilance, 
though from very opposite motives. I trust, you 
believe, that I feel it too momentous, and top 
much a part a vital part of the happiness of 
.this country for me to have neglected it ; but I 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 533 

waited in a kind of dread suspense,, in common 
with tens of thousands more on either side of the 
Irish channel, for some conclusion of the point at 
issue; after which, whatever might be the conse- 
quence, I had predetermined to detail the un- 
happy history of this new family quarrel amongst 
us, so that the whole might be before you. I 
joined your anxiety to my own in an appeal to 
Dr. P. from whom I had received progressive in- 
formation, while he remained with the army in 
Ireland ; and having, at length, " wrung from 
him his slow leave," I shall, as promised, now 
proceed to select and transmit, an original, and I 
am sure & faithful report of this dire civil dissension. 
fe I wish," says the Doctor, in his first letter 
on this disastrous theme, " I could give you a 
more pleasing account of our deeply-troubled 
sister ; but, unhappily, her name transposed 
conveys too just an idea of her present state - 
being, in truth, a sad Land of Ire- Inveterate 
discord threatens her very vitals, and she is in 
danger of becoming the victim of her own 
wrath. Rebellion seems to have taken deeper 
pot than w$s apprehended, It is not only en? 



534 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 

couraged by open, and desperate, example, but 
supported by a chain of systematic secresy. 
Disaffection and treachery are become the grder 
of the day. Many thousands of the deluded 
people are in arms against the government. In 
the south, not less than thirty thousand are- 
supposed to have taken the field ; and there is 
strong reason to believe, that still greater nurn-. 
bers only lie concealed till a more favourable, 
moment of declaring themselves. In the towns 
are crowds of United Men, ready to revolt on the 
first tidings of success. The loyal, and peaceable, 
subjects cannot be said to pass a night in secu- 
rity, being constantly exposed to the hazard of 
being murdered in their beds ; and their houses, 
or towns, given up t6 flames, It is no longer 
a partial evil. The whole island is convulsed ; 
and order, it is to be feared, will not be re- 
stored without the shedding of much blood, 
It is a contest between property and indigence. 
Those who seek its cause, only, in political^ or 
religious, grievances are deceived. It is a do- 
mestic evil, and of such a nature, as to render 
}t highly jrpbable, that it can, only, be removed 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 535 

by an union of Ireland with England. All 
- other remedies will prove but palliatives. An 
introduction of commerce, and manufactories, 
into Ireland, must sooner, or later, be made the 
radical cure. A spirit of industry, and emula- 
tion, unknown among the lower classes of Irish 
people, is necessary to it becoming a peaceful, 
happy, and well-ordered state. It is not the 
idle, dissipated, mob of large towns not the 
drunken, vicious, lawless, overflowings of crowd- 
ed cities ; it is $ie sturdy, robust, peasantry 
the needy, oppressed, husbandman, who has 
iled to arms : something must, therefore,- be 
radically bad in the domestic system of the 
country." 

" Knowing my enthusiastic veneration for the 
admired, and highly respected, character of an 
English farmer, you will conceive my surprize, 
and astonishment, when I found that, in Ireland, 
it was the plough, and the spade, which had 
been deserted for 'the pike, and the bayonet : 
that the peaceful cultivators of the soil stood 
foremost in the more than savage project of de- 
luging that soil with human blood. In England 



536 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

the peasantry are regarded as the firm support 
of the state the nation's strong defence : 
They are men of independence., virtue, and 
patriotism : Sensible of the comforts they en- 
joy, they feel a common stake in the country, 
and are ready to defend it : they form, indeed, 
that class of men whom it would be most diffi- 
cult to incite to rebellion. So widely different 
is their situation in Ireland, that they, scarcely, 
appear to be the same order of people. Having 
no interest in the state, they have no induce- 
ment to defend it ; born to poverty, and bred 
in indolence, their only portion is indigence, 
and wretchedness. No change can depreciate 
their lot any they believe may improve it. 
Scarcely possessing the absolute necessaries of 
life, they have nothing to lose in the contest, 
and much to hope : certain of not becoming 
worse, they seek amendment of their hard for- 
tune in the great scramble of anarchy, dis- 
order, and revolution. Yet it cannot be be- 
lieved that rebellion can J^ave originated with 
this class of men. They are but the deluded 
instruments of artful, wicked, and ambitious 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 537 

leaders sunk in the most abject poverty, and 
in the lowest depth of ignorance, they are the 
ready dupes of the more crafty, and design- 
ing." , ', ' ;.;;.- 

" In every country, be the form of govern- 
ment what it may, there will be men of vicious 
minds, of desperate fortune, or of disappointed 
ambition. Restless and dissatisfied, these men 
regard everything possessing order, or established 
form, as the fruit of corruption, and oppression : 
Jealous of those of better fortune, they sedu- 
lously seek their ruin, and hesitate at no crime 
in the attainment of their object. Deluding 
the ignorant with loud professions of virtue, and 
patriotism, they conceal their malicious views 
under the disguise of promoting the public 
good : Grant them the change they seek 
patriotism instantly expires, and the public 
good proves only a name. They exalt them- 
selves to the summit give loose to their des- 
potic passions and, lording it over the deluded 
instruments of their ambition, deal out tyranny, 
and oppression, without reserve. To such men 
is Ireland indebted for the afflicting calamity 

3 



538 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

under which she groans. The poor deluded 
objects who bear the sanguinary pike, know 
not why they wield it : oppressed with poverty, 
they are taught that it can only be removed by 
the destruction of those in power. To gain 
over the great body of papists, the artful 
leaders had concealed their designs under the 
specious pretence of catholic emancipation ; 
but as the terms catholic emancipation, and 
universal suffrage, must be incomprehensible to 
the majority of these debased, ignorant, beings, 
the cloven foot has been exposed, and equality, 
with division of property, being more easily 
understood, these have been held out as more 
ready instruments. The poor wretch who holds 
Ms acre of land, at an extravagant price, is told 
that by destroying the government, and those 
in power, he will become the owner of his 
morsel ; and be at liberty to plant his potatoe, 
and feed his pig, without paying tythe to the 
church, 6r rent to his landlord/' 

" This, to him, is flattering indeed. It is the 
consummation of his best wishes. Not aware 
that his wants would increase, and his masters 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 53(J 

.be many, he represents to himself the enjoy- 
ment of living without labour, and anticipates 
the sumptuous feast of seasoning his meal of 
potatoes with the bacon of his own pig. For 

this he sacrifices his home deserts his wife and 

. 

children, or leads them with him to join the 
bloody standard and engages in all the perils 
of. civil war." 

" Nor is it only in the readiness of these 
unfortunate beings to execute the orders of 
their leaders in the field, that the strong im- 
pression of these delusive promises is exem- 
plified. It is seen, no less, in the refusal of 
many, who have not, actually, appeared in arms, 
to pay the rent due to their landlords. Certain of 
success, they delay not to act upon the principle 
they have adopted." 

" The great class of stewards, bailiffs, 
agents, collectors, and the like, they hold 
peculiarly obnoxious. Having been represented 
to them as odious oppressors, they are regarded 
by the multitude as particular objects of hatred 
and revenge. It is even perilous for any one 
tp seek, from the tenants, the rent of the land. 

7 



54O GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

Some proprietors, who have been hardy enough 
to demand it, have met only a positive refusal. 
Others have been answered with threats. Some 
have had their houses burnt their cattle 
houghed or received other marks of ill-will. 
Many of the tenants, not of the -poorest order, 
who have been known to have saved money in 
order to pay the rent, have availed themselves 
of these distracted times, and, concealing the 
money, denied they had any, telling the owner 
of the land that, if he felt inclined, he might 
drive home a pig, or take away some hay, or 
straw, but money they would not pay him. 
It has, indeed, been made part of the system 
of the rebels to detain as much specie as possible 
from circulation, in order the more to distress 
the country. Such landlords who have been 
severe, or only thought so ; or who have, in any 
way, rendered themselves obnoxious, have been 
obliged to fly from their homes, and seek a 
sanctuary in the towns. So desperate, indeed, are 
the " United Men" or, as they are more con> 
monly termed the " Croppeis" and so general 
the danger to men of property, that many 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 541 

gentlemen, who usually reside in the country; 
and have tenants living in the vicinity of their 
houses, although on the best terms with these 
tenants, have deemed it prudent not to hazard 
their lives by passing their nights in the country. 
They have, therefore, removed their families, 
and taken lodgings in the towns, abandoning 
their homes to pillage, in the fear of being 
murdered in their beds. Many, who are within 
reach, are in the habit of riding to their estates 
in the morning, and returning each evening to 
sleep in town." 

" Such are, already, the evil effects of 
the poisonous doctrine which has been so 
artfully inculcated for the worst of purposes. 
Should the extinction of rebellion be the 
result of the present struggle, it will be long 
before a due sense of honesty, and justice, re- 
sumes its place. Force may compel the rebels 
to abandon the sanguinary pike ; but the moral 
evil which has assumed the government of 
their minds will not be easily subdued. 



542 GLEANINGS IN BNGLANB, 



SPEAKING of the situation of the Catholic 
peasantry, the Doctor thus continues^- 

Waterford, August, 17Q8- 



* 



cc THE very miserable state of the poor ren- 
ders them the ready instalments of any change. 
In the south 3 and west, parts of the island, so ex- 
treme is 'the poverty, and indigence, of the lower 
elasses of the peasantry, that it were difficult to 
conceive a state more wretched. Not finding 
employment in commerce, or manufactories, all 
are obliged to live by agriculture. Speculative 
men have painted this as the happiest state of 
society. It is not so in Ireland. Every person 
being in the necessity of seeking land to culti- 
vate, and the farms being let, as it were, by 
auction, the rent has become extravagantly 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND! 543 

high. This, with the ruinous system of under- 
letting, which, in Ireland, is sometimes * ex- 
tended to a fourth, or fifth, tenant, leaves the 
profits to the cultivator so extremely small that, 
in order to pay the exorbitant rent, he is obliged 
to subsist upon the bare necessaries of life. 
The catholics, making cleanliness, and comfort, 
no part of their creed, experienced fewer 
wants than the protestants, and have been, 
thereby, enabled to pay a higher price for the 
land. The protestants not so readily content- 
ing themselves with mere potatoes, filth, and 
rags, and finding these the hard lot of the 
peasantry, have abandoned agriculture to the 
papists, and sought additional comforts, by 
employing themselves in the linen manufacto- 
ries of the north. In the south, and west, the 
lower orders are nearly all catholics. Being 
ignorant of the English language, and speaking 
a tongue peculiar to themselves, together with ' 
living separate from all other classes of society, 
civilization has advanced among them with but 
tardy step. Sunk in extreme ignorance, they 
are bigots in religion, and the ready dupes of 



544 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

crafty illiterate priests. Agriculture is their chief 
pursuit, each becomes a holder of land, al- 
though but to the extent of half an acre. The 
peasants are not separated into the two great 
classes of farmer and- labourer nor do they 
assemble in villages, as in England. They live in 
little mud cabins, . distributed about the fields. 
Each individual has a degree of prejudice, or 
peculiar gratification, in being a landholder. 
Farms of one, of "two, or of three, acres are 
abundantly common, and these they are ambi- 
tious to take on very long leases, which, not 
uncommonly, extend to sixty years, a hundred 
years, three lives, or for ever; which, indeed, 
is but a species of perpetual mortgage ; the 
purchase-money being allowed to remain upon 
the estate, instead of being paid into the purse 
of the vendor, who, in place thereof, receives a 
certain annual interest. By this plan both parties 
are accommodated : It is peculiarly convenient 
to the holder, who could not advance the sum to 
purchase the land ; and the proprietor gratifies his 
ambition by continuing, to his family, the nomi- 
nal possession of the. estate, and thus extending 



GLEANINGS IN ^ENGLAND* 545 

his vast domain. These small tenures beat no 
resemblance to the little cottage gardens of 
England. They are not the picturesque ap- 
pendage of a rural cottage home : no trees offer 
^their shade; no eglantine, woodbine, or rose 
adds its fragrance devoid of the green goose- 
berry-bush- of enlivening flowers, of plants^ 
shrubs, and all the variety of domestic herbs, 
they form not the pleasing spot of recreation 
to soothe the evening of the labourer's day : 
nor do their productions add little comforts to 
the table, or sweeten, with varied flavor, the 
owner's scanty meal. They are literally farms 
mere estates by which they earn their liveli- 
hood surrounded by a rnud bank, or a rough 
stone wall, they appear the naked fields of 
naked cabins. If they produce enough of 
potatoes to furnish food for the family, and 
feed a pig to pay the landlord, the humble 
peasant seeks no more. A potatoe-field is his 
paradise a mud cabin, and .a bundle of straw, 
his palace, and his couch. A decent house 
would discomfit him. The varied productions 

VOL. IV. N tf 



546 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 

of a garden he neither wants nor knows his 
teax prliatee,* the loved apple of the island, is, 
to him, the richest herb, flower, and fruit. 
The father,, mother, children, and associate pig, 
all live in the single room of a miserable mud 
cabin. Potatoes their only food; sour milk, or 
water, their drink; and dirty straw, strewed on 
the mud floor, their bed. The only exception 
respecting the pig is, that instead of spring- 
water, or butter-milk, he moistens his meal of 
potatoes with the water that boiled them. He 
eats in the house, and, like the family, sleeps in the 
chimney-corner. In this wretched manner, and* 
in these wretched hovels, do the peasants of 
Ireland drag on a wearisome existence. Their 
scanty morsel, by furnishing subsistence with 
little labour, becomes one great cause of that 
indolence, and laziness, so prevalent among the 
Irish peasantry. Being able to procure food by 
the idle cultivation of this limited patch of 
earth, and it being difficult to obtain more 



* The common expression for potatce. 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 547 

industrious employment, much of the peasant's 
time is necessarily unoccupied; and from habits 
of idleness, he but too readily engages in habits 
of rebellion." 

" The danger of revolution must always exist, 
so long as the extreme indigence, and poverty, of 
this great class of the inhabitants remain ; and 
which cannot, probably, be removed while agri- 
culture continues to be the only employment of 
the poor. Had they further resources in com- 
merce, and manufactories, every man would not 
be compelled to seek subsistence by tilling the 
land. Variety of labour holding out to them 
more of the comforts of life, they would be 
more strongly incited to industry; the hoe, and 
the spade, would be forsaken for the shuttle, 
the mattock, and the oar; and the rent of land, 
and price of labour, would, necessarily, find a 
proportioned level. As, therefore, an union 
with England would introduce commerce, ma 
nufactories, and various species of labour, and 
thereby render more civilized, and industrious, 

^ 

the half-wild possessors of the mountains, and 
the fields, it is by an Union that the present 

N N 2 



548 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

disposition to rebellion must, eventually, be 
eradicated. Whether such a step will be pro- 
posed by Ireland, or if it were proposed from, 
England, whether it would be accepted by 
Ireland, is extremely doubtful. From every 
conversation we hear on the subject I should 
imagine that numbers would be decidedly 
against it ; and it is even probable that property 
would be opposed to it : for, however beneficial 
it might promise to be to the island in general, 
it is difficult for individuals, and, particularly 
those possessed of extensive property, in a coun- 
try, to reconcile what seems to them the loss of 
national existence. In our warmest patriotism^ 
we are, too often, less solicitous concerning the 
general good of our country, than desirous for 
an ambitious display of its name." 

" The great propertyof Ireland is in the hands 
of a few leading men, who are mostly of the 
established church, and form but a very small 
proportion of the inhabitants. The great majo- 
rity of the people are catholics ; and the 
number of dissenting prote'stants exceeds that 
of the national church ; hence, in any contest 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

of parties,, the property, being held by so feeble 
a minority, must be always insecure : but it must 
be more endangered, than it has hitherto been, 
before even those who possess it will freely con- 
sent to an union : yet if an union be not the 
result of the present contest, it will, probably, be 
seen that, on some future occasion, when they 
are more threatened, and the danger more 
imminent, and manifest, the great holders of the 
property of the island will fly into the arms of 
Britain, and solicit protection in a general con- 
solidation of the empire. It may be then too 
late. At present it might be effected to the 
general benefit, and tranquillity, of both coun- 
tries ; and to the particular advantage of 
Ireland. But the public voice, is, decidedly, 
against it ; and in how far it may be politic to 
agitate the subject, at this troubled moment, 
rests in the wisdom of those who are not without 
the best information whereon to found their 
judgment."* 



* Since the writing of these letters, the great question 
of the union has been proposed in both houses of parliament, 
in Great Britain, and Ireland. 



550 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 



August, 17QS. 
# * # # # =r * *- : * -,* 

3|F * TV TV Tr TV TV" TV *f TT Tr 

u THE rebellion would seem first to have 
assumed its more active form among the pro- 



The friends of Union have urged the inconsistency of two 
distinct legislatures in one empire, contending, that the 
breath of accident, or a thousand circumstances, which no 
human foresight, or wisdom, could prevent, might destroy the 
connexion now existing between the two countries : and by 
way of example, have instanced the regency regarding 
which the two legislatures adopted very opposite- prin- 
ciples. 

They also contend, that the adjustment of 1782 was to 
redress existing grievances, without looking to future con- 
sequences, or taking a general, and necessary, view of the 
circumstances : that it was not founded in the solid interests 
of the country, and hence there could be no reason, whatever, 
for calling it a final adjustment. 

They consider the security of the empire not to rest on a 
firm, and permanent, basis while there remains a possibility of 
a separate parliament interfering in alliances, and treaties, or 
of giving different advice to the Sovereign urging, that 
the parliament of Ireland might give a vote of peace, neu- 
tralize her ports, impede the recruiting of the navy, and 
army, and thus paralize the efforts of Great Britain, an4 
endanger the existence of the empire. 

3 



GLEANINGS IN NGLAND. 551 

testant dissenters of the north ; and, as these 
possess the comforts of life in a higher degree 
than the people of the other parts of the island, 
it may, perhaps, be, chiefly, attributed to that 
restless spirit of republicanism known to reign, 
so universally, among them. As the flame 
spread to the south, all the rancour and in- 



The Anti-unionists contend, that no parliament has a 
right to vote away the legislative existence of a country, by 
incorporating it with any other country. 

They object, on account of there being no power which 
can make the result of the deliberation, for adjusting the re- 
ciprocal interests of both Countries, effectual. 

They insist, that the arrangement reciprocally acknow- 
ledged by the two Countries in 1782, was a final adjuft- 
ment. 

They urge, that according to this adjustment, it becomes 
so powerfully the interest of the one country to draw to, 
wards the other, that a severance could only be apprehended 
from persisting in the attempts to promote an Union. 

The house of commons of IRELAND rejected all dis- 
cussion of the question. 

The house of commons of GREAT BRITAIN, unwilling to 
abandon the subject, formed a series of resolutions expressive 
of their opinion, and laid them before the crown to be com- 
municated to the parliament of Ireland, when His Majesty, 
in his wisdom, should see it meet : and in this suspended 
state the subject remains at the moment before us, 



55% G-LEANINGS IN ENGLAND* 

yeteracy of religious persecution were quickly 
engendered i^politics, and the loud cry of 
freedom, were Iqst in bigotry, and superstition. 
The republican banner., and tree of liberty, were 
superseded by the crosier and beads, and, pro- 
faning the very name of religion, the quarrel, 
rapidly, degenerated into a contest between 
chapel and church." 

" The crimes, and cruelties, that have been 
committed are too horrible to be conceived - 
almost, indeed, to be believed. The annals of 
history are searched in vain for precedent, oy 
parallel. In former times, those extraordinary 
acts of horror, which, on relation, so torture the 
mind, arose from the momentary impulse of 
raging contest. In Ireland, cruelty and 
bloodshed are made systematic, and form 
a leading feature in the plan of the rebellion, 
Not to think and act with the " United 
Men," or, " Croppies," has been deemed 
crime sufficient to call forth the bloody, 
and avenging, cruelty of these most horrid 
monsters of human form. At the county town 
pf Wexford, multitudes of innocent men were 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 553 

thrown into prison, and afterwards dragged from 
thence through the streets; made a spectacle 
upon the public bridge ; and there tortured 
with a lingering death, merely for refusing to 
forsake their families, and follow the rebel 
standard. The rebels, while slowly, and inhu- 
manly, butchering them with pikes, aggravated 
their cruelty by insulting their pain, and, before 
life was well extinguished, tossed their bleeding, 
mangled, bodies into the river. At Scullabogue, 
an estate belonging to Mr. King, at the foot of 
the rough mountain of Carrickburn, upwards 
of a hundred of the same description of people 
were made the victims of their savage fury, by 
being crammed into a barn and burnt alive. 
Among these were two amiable young ladies of 
respectable family, and fortune, whose unpro- 
voked murder adds new horrors to the catalogue 
of rebel-crimes. They were long confined, amidst 
he crowd of prisoners; and finding no other 
hppe of safety, it is said they offered to marry- 
any of the United Men who would protect 
their lives, but all were alike insensible to 
beauty, to tears, and to humanity. . Amidst 



554 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

the loud, and sanguinary cry of "' no -mercy to 
the heretics/* these unhappy ladies were thrust 
into the barn, and consumed by the flames. 
At New Ross, and at other places, great 
numbers have been destroyed, in a similar 
manner, by shutting them in their houses, 
and setting the building on fire. To augment 
their savage cruelty, these worse than barba- 
rians guarded the doors, exulting in the shrieks 
and cries of the dying. Did any one of the 
suffering objects chance to break from the 
ilames, he but escaped to meet a more lin- 
gering death, from the destructive pike, of 
these murclerous centinels." 

" To such like cruelties have the minds of the 
deluded wretches, calling themselves (C United 
Men," been incited by the exhortations of the 
vile leaders who have assumed the title of priests. 
These blood-thirsty ministers of rebellion teach 
their ignorant, fanatic, followers, that to murder 
the heretics is to do service to GOD; and 
honour to themselves, and their holy religion. 
Being offered absolution, and believing that 
their priests can pardon all their sins, these un- 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 555 

happy beings strive only which can be foremost 
in perpetrating the blackest crimes. Some of 
the merciless, , miscreant, leaders, calling them- 
selves priests, have already met the fate justice 
awards them, and forfeited their lives on a tree,, 
or a gallows ; but that the loss of life might 
not expiate their crimes, they have persisted in 
their conduct even at the scaffold. They have 
insulted the executioner at the very moment of 
being launched into eternity : even while in the 
act of fixing the deadly cord, they have cursed 
him with dreadful imprecations ; and, calling 
down vengeance from above, have sworn to the 
rebels, in their latest breath, that heaven 
would aid them in avenging the death of their 
priests, who fell martyrs to their blessed re- 
ligion, and their country's good." 

" At the battle of Vinegar-hill, it is said that 
Priest Murphy, taking a handful of musket 
balls out of his pocket, exhibited them to the 
rebel multitude, assuring them that each of these 
balls of lead, had been fired against his body, 
but that being made invulnerable by the divine 
spirit of the Blessed Virgin, they fell to the 



556 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND* 

earth unable to penetrate, or do, him harm; 
adding, " so will it be with you, be of good 
.faith, you are armed against the heretics, they 
cannot hurt you;" then sprinkling water on the 
ground, called holy, from having a bloody bene- 
diction uttered over it by this sanguinary mis- 
creant, he proclaimed the mountain sacred; 
vowing to his deluded flock, that such who 
fought upon it, against the heretics, would, 
like himself, be invulnerable ; and altogether 
incapable of being injured, or destroyed, of 
receiving wounds, or death, from the shells, or 
balls, the sword, or bayonet, of infidels. So 
firmly had they faith, in the doctrine of their 
priests, or so excessive was their ignorance, that 
when shells were first thrown among them, 
instead of hastening beyond their^ fatal reach, 
they collected in crowds, around them, to regard 
the burning fuse; and; remaining until th$ 
moment of explosion, fell, in numbers, the 
victims of their curiosity, and folly. So great 
indeed has been their enthusiasm, that, in 
several actions, they have advanced undaunted 
to the very cannon-mouth 4 and it is said, have, 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 557 

even, been ignorant enough to thrust their wigs 
into the cannon, in the idea of preventing them 
from being firexj upon their comrades. Yet 
notwithstanding all their faith, and in defiance 
of all the charms of holy water, of solemn 
assurances, and priestly vows, not less than ten 
thousand of these deluded objects have already 
fallen the sacrifices of their sad superstition, and 
ignorance. Of troops, we have lost compara- 
tively very few, for the most desperate attack of 
the rebels has been but the rushing forward of 
an impetuous, undisciplined, multitude; mostly 
badly armed, many not armed at all. They 
have fought with desperation, and had their 
discipline been equal to their courage, the very 
inferior bodies of troops that have often defeated 
them, must have found them irresistible." 

" How truly lamentable, that the ardour and 
enthusiasm, which has actuated them, should 
not have been directed to a more happy and 
laudable end! How deplorable that the cou- 
rage with which they have been inspired, 
should only have led to the destruction of their 
country, their kindred, and friends! Alas! 
1 



553 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

:that men should be so much more readily 
deceived into evil, than persuaded to do good!" 

cc How oft do the scenes before me, lead me 
to exclaim, happy, happy England! How 
devoutly do they call forth my earnest prayers, 
that her people may always have wisdom to 
avert the desolating scourge of civil discord: 
that they may ever duly estimate the blessings 
they possess, and continue to maintain a just 
sense of the dangers of anarchy and rebellion!" 

^ With what sincere pleasure do I often con- 
template your "peaceful Gleaning Ramblings, 
in the different counties of ENGLAND, fear- 
less of pikes and rebels; and needing no war- 
like escort to protect your path. If I could 
envy a friend, I must now envy the English 
Gleaner. I behold him mixing in the jocund 
throng of the village-evening, or view him 
musing in distant delight at the innocent gam* 
bols of a virtuous, and contented, peasantry. 
At one moment I see him moving in pensive, 
wandering, step, as I know he is wont, from 
Village to village, and from cottage to cottage ; 
at another I surprize him soliloquizing on the 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

banks of a rivulet, in the plains, or amidst the 
mountains. At this instant my fancy paints him 
noting the vivid idea on the spot, as it rises : At 
the next, I behold him lost in rapture, or reverie. 
When I have worked the picture into life, and 
am about to speak, suddenly the trumpet of 
xvar destroys the pleasing illusion, and tears 
me from tranquillity, and from you. Oppo- 
site, and painful ideas, crowd into my mind. 
It hurries across the channel, and, deserting 
peaceful cottages, and happy lands, dwells only 
on fields of blood, and cabins of strife ! From 
happy England, it returns, alas ! to afflicted 
Ireland!" 



56*0 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 



LETTER XXV. 



Sept. 28, 17Q8, 

JL HE latitude I have given, my loved 
friend, to the great national subject so ably 
sketched in the foregoing abstracts of a highly 
appreciated correspondence, has, necessarily, 
postponed every other discussion of matters on 
this more peaceful side of the Irish channel ; 
and the pause has been made most willingly 
on my part, as well as advantageously on 
yours. I wished to give you the best informa- 
tion on this great topic, and, I am fully 
convinced that our unfortunate home disputes, 
in ' England, or Ireland, and may Hibernia 
ever be looked upon and treated as one of the 
nearest and dearest of our Britannia's family ! 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 56i 

our domestic differences > my friend, inspire our 
foreign foes with much greater confidence of 
ultimate success, than they can ever hope to 
derive from all the armies qfjhe Republic. The 
enemy, indeed> has long since seen and felt 
that Great Britain can be destroyed only by 
itself. 

" Oh, England ! model to thy inward greatness. 
Like little body with a mighty heart ; 
What might'st thou do, that honour would thee do, 
Were all thy children kind and natural ! 
But see, thy fault France hath in thee found out ; 

A NEST OF HOLLOW BOSOMS." 

The truth of this could not possibly apply 
more vitally, to the time of the fifth Henry, 
than to later reigns. But, blessed be GOD ! the 
nest is not now so crouded as it was. On the 
contrary, were you at Cromer, while I am 
yet writing or indeed, in any other part of 
England, you would meet with the unloughf* 
friends of their country, volunteering her cause, 

VOL. iv. O o 



502 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

' '\ v ,v 

and preparing for her defence. We have a 
powerful army of yeomanry, daily appropriating 
part of their time and property to render them- 
selves as able, as I will not doubt they are 
willing, to protect their native fields, and to guard 
their citadel wherever that citadel may be, 
whether on the lofty mountain, or in the humble 
valley. Men of all fortunes, persuasions and 
professions, are, in some way or other, zea- 
lous and active in preparation. Never have 
the people "of England been so TRIED ; never 
has their natural love of the Island, so FAR 

AS GOES TO ITS PRESERVATION FROM AN IN- 
VADER been so distinguished, I will, not sim- 
ply call it loyalty, because, though I am no 
advocate for confusion of orders, and know there 
must be a head as well as hands, and other mem- 
bers ; and that, most of them are as necessary to 
the existence, all to the sound health, of the 
body-politic, as to the body-natural, I consider 
the present energies as proceeding from those 
mingled impulses which include our connex- 
ions with Prince, People, Husband, Friend, Fa- 
ther, and Countryman, I will call it then THE 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 5(53 

PATRIOTISM OP THE WHOLE ISLAND IN COMMON 
CAUSE ASSEMBLED 

It is on this great principle, that you would 
observe a glowing spirit displayed in all ranks of 
people, of whatever age or sex. The children^ 
from something more animated than the mere 
mimicry of their parents, collect the tiny 
troop ; and sacrificing the usual school-boy 
pastime climbing the tree, despoiling the 
birdVnest, spinning the top, .and driving the 
hoop, as well as their supernumerary meals at 
the pastry and fruit shops, convert, ^with 
earnest attention to military order, most of 
their holiday sports to serious discipline, while 
their weekly allowance, and many a visitor's 
bounty, go to the purchase of their military 
stores: and every customary toy is now super- 
seded by the flute, the trumpet, the musket, and 
the drum ; while their miniature little sisters and 
small friends of the same bloomy age, weave the 
kurel, animate the infant soldiery, and present 
the Colours. 

I had occasion to mention something of this 
immediately on my regaining this comparatively 
o o'2 



564 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

happy land, after bidding farewell a long, but 
I hope not a last, farewell to the Continent. * 
There is something sad, awful, and even afflict- 
ing in our last adieus to almost any place, any 
people, or any person, even if some pain, some 
injury, and even some displeasure have resulted 
from our intercourse, provided but one affection 
of a generous, or interesting kind lives in the 
heart. In a state of separation we cherish the 
recollection of that one, think of it so often, 
and in so many different ways, that it seems not 
to have left room in the memory for any thing 
less pleasing, less amiable than itself. But 
where we have nothing to remember but cour- 
tesy and hospitality, such as endear my recol- 
lection of you and your Country, the short, 
but afflicting word last prefixed to my farewell 
would be solemn indeed. 

Many have been the threats of invading this 
small, but superb span of earth, since the hour 
of my return to it, when the infant battalions' 



* Introduction to Volume the First, of fprmer Travels* 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. . 

began to form. Without servilely copying, 
they even then literally imitated the manly 
virtue reflected from their fathers. They have 
since had time to nurse their infant ardours ; what 
was then a sort -of pastime has in many now 
grown into a principle : and not a few of those 
who were the senior chieftains of the puerile 
tribes in those days have shot up into real 
practical heroes, and already " done the State 



some service." 



It is truly gratifying to trace the progress of 
a national sentiment- to watch its course, from 
almost a baby sport of armory a play, as ,it 
were, of the small sword amongst our striplings, 
- scarcely amounting to the flourish of drum 
and trumpet in our theatrical entertainments 
thence onward to the study, and the science qf 
arms. In fine, to the dignified passion of men, 
who, unsollicited, unrecompensed, but by their 
feelings, forego the accustomed sweets of ease, 
and of competence- yield up the habitual 
attendance on gainful occupations, and at the 
very time that a great majority might think 
they had done the duty of good 'citizens, and 



566 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

good men, by willing contributions to meet the 
exigehces of their country, in the hire of troops, 
domestic or foreign and beyond furnishing 
their quota to which exigences, they cannot he 
commanded here, even by the chief citizen 
stop nothing short of becoming at much cost, 

s 

and more care, troops themselves. 

Fervently do I pray that since your com- 
ing amongst us is necessarily postponed to 
the time mentioned in your last heart-greeted 
pacquet -yes, my friend, passionately do I sup- 
plicate the Fountain of PEACE, that long, very 
long before that aera shall arrive, this dreadful, 
though generous preparation for WAR may be 
at an end ! (e and that not only my country, 
but yours, and every other now bleeding at 
every pore," may be suffered to repose, re- 
spire, and replenish. Every prospect that art, 
or nature can display, in magnificent cities, or 
bounteous fields : every scene which man may 
enjoy, or his Maker bestow, is in a manner 
annihilated by war and the very sight' of a 
commercial, turned into a military, nation, as 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 667 

is now the case of Great Britain, while it 
reflects the image of public virtue, and of 
patriotism, mingles with it the idea of muti- 
lated" life, unnatural deaths, and a groaning 
world.* May Peace, therefore, be the hand- 



* With how much beauty, pathos and energy is this sub- 
ject enlarged in a pamphlet I have lately perused. The 
solemn truths conveyed in the following passage, are worth 
sending to the remotest corner of the earth, at least where- 
ever a musket has been fired, or a bayonet fixed by man 
against man. 

" Of all the punishments and judgments of Providence," 
says Dr. Gisbourne, " there is none so terrible and destruc- 
tive as that of WAR ; the horrors of which, indeed, are not 
at an end even when the contest terminates victoriously. The 
tenderness of nature, and the integrity of manners which are 
driven away, are not quickly recovered ; but are exchanged 
for roughness, jealousy, and distrust ; and the weeds which 
grow in the shortest war can hardly be pulled up in a long 
peace. How soon does the ( ruthless monster deface all that 
art and industry has produced ? destroying all plantations- 
burning churches and palaces, and mingling them in the 
same ashes with the cottages of the peasant and' the labourer. 
It distinguishes not age or sex, or dignity ; but exposes all 
things and persons sacred and prophane to the same con~ 
tempt and confusion; in short, it reduces all that blessed 
harmony which has been the -product of peace and religion, 
into the chaos it was first in, as if it would contend with the 
ALMIGHTY in iincreatingvi\.\. He has so wonderfully created. 



568 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

-v > - fc ^ 

maid of hospitality to hail your arrival on our 
shore, and may the same blessed power accom- 
pany you to the yet crimson border of your 



own ! 



Had it, however,, been within your power to 
ante-date your visit had you the fabled wing of 
a sylph, or the magic speed of a guardian spirit, 
and could you transport yourself above the 
reach of hostile men, or their bloody instru- 
ments, from the opposite margin of the main 
over the German ocean, even to this edge of 
our English land could it be done by some 
aerial flight, or, which would be yet more 
grateful to me, were we now 'wreathed arm 
within arm, in friendship's knot, as oft we have 
been, in far distant climes -you would have 



Are we pleased," asks he, as forcibly as beautifully, with 
the enlarged commerce and society of opulent cities, or with 
the retired pleasures of the country ? Do we love stately 
palaces or noble houses ? do we delight in pleasant groves, 
woods, or fruitful gardens ? All these we owe to PEACE 
and the dissolution of this Peace, however warrantably en- 
tered into, disfigures all this beauty, and in a short time 
buries all this order and delight in ruin and rubbish*" 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 56$ 

shared with me and, indeed, would have but 
just returned to our temporary little home, from 
as interesting a sight as a season of general 
hostility can offer to a man of a peaceful mind, 
and tender nature. 

The yeomanry of this town and vicinity have 
been drawn up on this most beauteous day, 
upon a platform screened by a small fort, bor- 
dered on one side by the aspiring cliff, opening 
upon smiling woodlands, and fields in high 
cultivation ; on the other,, upon the inter- 
minable ocean, with a view of some guard- 
sloops passing and repassing under your eye, and 
looking proudly as they glide along the smooth 
expanse/ in swan-like state, as if conscious 
they were at once protectors of the land, 
and sovereigns of the sea while the liquid 
space between the cliff and those vessels 
is relieved by the fishing craft, crouding sail 
to catch a newborn breeze, and emulously 
stretching out to sea, no less conscious of pro- 
tection. 

The .yeomanry corps here is regulated with 



57O GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

peculiar activity and zeal by a man * of property, 
unimpeachable in his professional, and estima- 
ble in his private character : and if, on the 
one hand, it is grateful to observe persons of 
independent fortune resign themselves, in the 
first instance, to pupilage, so to equip them- 
selves that they may become the instructors 
and leaders of others, it is no less pleasing 
to see the subaltern body cheerfully submit 
themselves to such guidance, and accommo- 
date to the unqualified laws of that passive 
obedience which military discipline exacts ; and 
without which, indeed, neither army or navy 
can exist. 

Inasmuch as the cause is felt to be just, you 
would have been pleased to share this ; it would 
have satisfied you to have seen the self-appointed 
corps duly arranged gather together at the hour 
of prayer on the Sabbath, march to the church, 
and after evening service perform their exercise, 



* Mr. PATRIDGE, one of what is called, the King's 
Council. 



* 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 571 

and make themselves more adroit and perfect ia 
an art by ho means easy to be acquired, and 
wholly new to most of them; attended too 
by numerous spectators, chiefly composed of 
the females, or friends, relatives, and persons 
in the first and last stages of old men, and 
children- -the intermediate age, and the youth 
of the district, constitute the regiment ; a sight 
of this kind, you are not, however, to suppose 
local and circumscribed, but broad and general 
as the occasion for which the nation is in arms : 
and with, perhaps, fewer exceptions than at any 
other period of English history, we may be 
characterised at this moment by our great 
English Poet, where he exclaims, 

" They sell the pasture now to buy the horse ; 
Now all the youth of England are on fire, 
And silken dalliance in the wardrobe lies ; 
Now thrive the armourers, and honour's thought 
Reigns solely in the breast of every man." 

Plutarch takes notice of a very remarkable 
law of Solon's, which declared every man in- 
famous, who, in " any sedition., or civil dis- 



572 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

tension in the state > should continue neuter, 
and refuse to side with either party." Aulus 
'Gellius, who gives a more circumstantial detail 
of this uncommon law, affirms the penalty to 
be no less than " confiscation of all the effects, 
and banishment of the delinquent." 

But in this great impulse to protect the island 
there is no SIDE, no PARTY.* Every citizen is 



* This brings, perhaps to its highest point of possible per- 
fection, what a most singular man, the son of a most singular 
woman, has stated in a work of as singular excellence, respect- 
ing that grandpolitical desideratum, so ably advocated and 
.opposed a NATIONAL MILITIA. I have already spoken of 
parallel cases, and quoted one in proof of my assertion. Here 
is another, where many of the similar points touch so close, 
they seem but parts of each other, first brought to bear while 
I am about to transcribe what was written near half a century 
ago. 

" The whole reigns of William the Third and Anne," ob- 
serves EDWARD WORTLEY MONTAGU, in his * Reflections on 
the Rise and Fall of the Antient Republics,' " are distinguish, 
ed by war abroad, and factions at home. Yet, though we 
entered into both those wars as principals, the military spirit 
of our people was not much improved ; our national troops 
composed but a small part of the allied armies, and we placed 
.our chief dependance upon foreign mercenaries. 

" Frequent attempts have been made since that time to 
revive a national disciplined Militia, which have been as 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 573 

a soldier in theory, and 'should it be necessary, 
I have not a fear, that every soldier would, in 
practice, become a hero. 



constantly defeated by ministerial corruption or the malignity 
of faction. Our late fears of an invasion, and the introduc- 
tion of so large a body of foreign troops, , a measure highly 
unpopular and distasteful, procured at last the long-wished 
act of a MILITIA. Mutilated as it was, and clogged with 
almost insuperable difficulties, the real well-wishers to their 
country were glad to accept it. They looked upon it as a 
foundation laid for a much more useful and extensive Militia, 
which time and opportunity might enable then to perfect, and 
which has been perfected, my Friend. 

(( Much has been said, and many assertions boldly thrown 
out as to the utter impracticability of a NATIONAL Militia. 
But this is either the language of corruption, or of effemi- 
nacy, or of cowardice. The Romans, in the first Punick 
war, found themselves unable to contend with the Cartha- 
ginians for want of a marine. Yet that magnanimous people, 
without any other knowledge of the mechanism of a ship 
than what they acquired from a galley of their enemies, 
thrown by accident upon their coasts, without either ship- 
wright or seaman, built, manned, and fitted out a fleet under 
the Consul. Duilius in three months' time, which engaged 
and totally defeated the grand fleet of Carthage, though that 
Republic had enjoyed the sovereignty of the sea unrivalled 
for time immemorial. 

ts This effort of the Roman magnanimity gives a higher 
idea of the Roman genius, than any other action recorded in 
their history. 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 



X 

And, although., one rustic waggon loaded from 
the FIELD OF PEACE, with a simple oak-bough 



And by this alone we must be convinced, fc that nothing 
is insurmountable to the unconquerable hand of liberty, when 
backed by public virtue, and the generous resolution of a 
brave .and willing people; " continues Montagu. " The 
difficulties and obstacles in either case, I mean, of making a 
fleet, or establishing a good militia, will admit of no com- 
parison. The Romans may almost be said to have created a 
fleet out of nothing. We have nothing more to do then to 
rouze and diffuse that martial spirit through the nation, 
which the arts of ministerial policy have so long endeavoured 
to keep dormant. Great, indeed, has been the outcry of the 
danger of trusting arms in the dissolute hands of the scum 
and refuse of the nation in these licentious times. These I 
consign to the proper severity of the martial discipline of art 
army ; for of this kind .G people the bulk of every army in 
Europe is at this time composed. / speak to the nobility and 
gentry , the traders and yeomanry of this kingdom, to all those 
who are possessed of property, and have something to lose, and, 
from the interest of their respective shares, are equally con- 
cerned in the preservation of the whole. Of such as these 
the Roman armies were composed who conquered Italy* 
Every Roman soldier was a citizen possessed of property > 
and equally interested in the safety of the Republic. The 
wisdom of the Romans in the choice of their soldiers never 
appeared in so conspicuous a light as after the defeat at 
Cannae. Every citizen pressed to take up arms in defence 
of his country, and not only refused his pay, but generously 
gave up part of what gold and silver he was master of> even 
to the most trifling ornaments, for the public service* 



GLEANINGS IX ENGLAND. 575 

* 

garland nodding on its 'centre, and the toil- 
embrowned peasants seated in gambol, or 



The behaviour of the women too, to their immortal honour, 
was equally great and disinterested. Such is the spirit that 
has been exerted, and continues its exertion, dear Baron, to 
this present moment, which a truly brave and free people 
will ever exert in a time of distress and danger. Marius 
was the first man who broke through that wise maxim, and 
raised his forces out of the sixth class, which consisted only 
of the dregs and refuse of the people. Marius too, be it re- 
membered, gave the first stab to the constitution of his 
country. People of property are not only the chief support', 
but the best and safest defence of a free and opulent country ; 
and their example will always have a proper influence upon 
their inferiors. 

" Nothing but an extensive militia," proceeds the author, 
" can revive the once martial spirit of this nation, and we 
had even better once more be a nation of Soldiers, like our 
renowned ancestors, than a nation of slaves. Let us not be 
too much elated, and lulled into a fatal security from some 
late successes, in which our national forces had no share. 
Nothing is, so common as unexpected vicissitudes in war. 
Our enemies have many and great resources; and France 
wilj never want a plausible pretext for attempting to invade 
the kingdom. Their last attempt answered the proposed end 
so well, that we may be certain, so politic an enemy, insti- 
gated by revenge, will omit no opportunity of playing the 
same successful engine once more against us. 

" No man, I believe, is so weak as to imagine, that 
France will be deterred from such an attempt by the danger 
which may attend it. For if we reflect upon the number of 



576 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND* 

stretched in slumber on its fragrant top ; 
though, indeed, one weary team, loosened 



Ber troops, the risque of 10, or 20,000 men, we might 
lately have said an hundred thousand can hardly be deem- 
ed an object worthy the attention of so formidable a power. 
For should they all perish in the attempt, yet France would 
be amply repaid by the advantages she would draw from 
that confusion which they would necessarily occasion. The 
traitors who lately pointed out the proper times, as well as 
place for an invasion how analogous again and the fatal 
effects it would have upon public credit, whatever success 
might attend it, furnishes us with a convincing proof, that 
France never loses sig&fof so useful a measure. A considera- 
tion which greatly inforces the necessity of NATIONAL UNION, 
and a national Militia. The unequalled abilities of one * 
man " (humanly speaking) have given a turn to the affairs 
of Germany, as happy as it was amazing.'* 

The following brief remarks ougrit not at this crisis to be 
omitted. 

" Let us throw but one glance upon the present situation 
of the once glorious Republics,'* adjoins Mr. Montagu, 
" and we cannot help reflecting upon the final and direful 
catastrophe, which will eternally result from the prevalence 
of ambitious and selfish faction supported by corruption. 

" GREECE, once the nurse of arts ,2nd sciences) the fruitful 
mother of philosophers, lawgivers, and heroes, now lies 
prostrate under the iron yoke of ignorance and barbarism. 
Carthage, once the mighty sovereign of the ocean, and the 

*> Tw0, the Arch-Duke and Russian general has given the prefent 
turn. 



0LEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 5?7 

from the plough, heavily moving along to 
the accustomed manger with a single labourer, 
flung carelessly across the fore-horse, or idly 
placed, in side-saddle fashion upon his back, as 
he returns to the noon-tide meal, and sings, or 
whistles, the unspelFd, untun'd ditty, by the 
way; though these are more cheering to th 
eye, more comforting to the mind, and convey 
to both a more gracious assemblage of thoughts 
and feelings, than the best ordered arrangements 
of accoutered men, and caparison'd steeds, in 
the FIELD OF WAR, in truth, than the Car 



centre of universal commerce, which poured the ricfces of the 
nations into her lap, now puzzles the inquisitive traveller, 
in his researches after even the vestige* of her ruins. And 
ROME, the mistress of the universe, which once contained 
whatever was esteemed great or brilliant in human nature, 
is now sunk into the ignoble seat of whatever is esteemed 
mean and infamous. Another fate has, you know, lately 
attended her, and yet another at this instant which may 
possibly bring her back, under her Italian disguise, to her 
former soft insignificance. 

(f Should faction again predominate, and succeed in its 
destructive views, and the dastardly maxims of luxury and 
effeminacy universally prevail amongst us such too will soon 
be the fate of BRITAIN." 

VOL. IV. P P 



578 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

of Victory, or the Victor himself, in the fulness 
of triumph his crown of laurel, songs of con- 
quest, with all the Muse's classic allusions and 
proud comparisons to deathless names or even 
than the long trains of a vanquished army with 
all its treasure, its captive heroes, princes, or 
kings; yet the view of a whole country, put- 
ting on the ARMOUR of PATRIOTISM, on one 
great, pure, and .pious principle, concerning 
which, even those who continue to lift up the 
dissenting voice, against whatever ehe regards 
the origin and progress of the war, are unani- 
mous; the preservation of their natal earth 
from an INVADER, is, unquestionably, virtuous 
in the motive, august in the plan, and glorious 
in the execution.* Every English city, from 



* Probably, there has never been yet concentrated and 
brought under one point of view, in a light so gratifying, 
or that can so well illustrate this subject to your mind's eye, 
at this distance from the original scene, as a sketch of what 
has been exhibited to the British Public, while some of the 
last Letters of our correspondence have been printing off, so 
late, indeed, as the fourth of the preceding month, June 1 799,, 
three quarters of a year after the date of my describing 
at Cromer, detached farts of what may now be contem- 

1 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 570 

the smallest to the vast metropolis, and every 
town, from Cromer to the poorest display of 



plated, as a brilliant whole. And that you may have it in 
the best style, I will give it in the thoughts of the nervous 
writer, I have already made you confess yourself obliged, 
for a splendid morsel in my twelfth Letter ; and you shall 
have those thoughts in the English dress, wherein that 
Author's liberal Translator has so gracefully arrayed them. 

There are few sights so interesting, grand, and surprizing 
to a foreigner, as that which the King of England's birth-day 
presented. This annual celebration, became on Tuesday 
last, a kind of national solemnity, and every thing conspired 
to heighten its lustre the delight felt by the King, the 
Queen, and their fine family, the present general security, 
the late victories, the picture of public prosperity, the mili- 
tary nature of the ceremony, arid the immense concourse 
and happy spirit of the people that attended. 

Seventy detachments of Volunteer Armed Associations, 
which had been formed within a year only, in the parishes 
of London and its precincts, were assembled about five 
o'clock in the morning, in Hyde Park, to the number of 
8193 men, of- which 841 were cavalry.. The brilliant 
appearance of the different corps, their activity, their neat- 
ness, the exactness of their manoeuvres, the beauty of the 
horses, the rich elegance of the Colours, and the satisfaction 
beaming from every countenance, gave life, and grace, and 
combination to the scene. 

At nine o'clock, the report of a cannon announced the arrival 
of the King, who was accompanied by the Prince of Wales, 
the Dukes of York^ Kent, Cumberland, and Gloucester, and 
a retinue of general officers. The King rode along the 
whole line, the music playing GOD SAVE THE KING; after 

P P 2 



580 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

-village - architecture from the well - sheltered 
family- habitation of Mr. PARTRIDGE^ to the 



which, at the discharge of a cannon, the firing- commenced, 
each corps firing a distinct volley ; after three rounds had 
been fired, the whole line gave three cheers, waving their 
helmets in the air, and the musick again struck up GOD SAVE 
THE KING. The line then marched in companies before His 
Majesty. 

The windows, balconies, and tops of the neighbouring 
houses, and all the trees of the Park, were crouded with 
people : round the line at some distance stood an innumerable 
multitude: the charge of keeping order on the ground, 
which was given to some of the Yeomanry Cavalry of the 
London Volunteers, was exercised without harshness, dis~ 
pute, or the least confusion ; thanks to that popular spirit of 
order, peace, and method, my Friend, which here prevent 
those -disturbances, severities, and accidents, that in other 
places almost always sully festivities of this kind. No 
impatience broke out among the croud, but an instinctive 
a.ad general respect was shewn to order. 

The Chief Magistrate and Soldier of the Empire received 
this day, the sincerest and most brilliant testimony of public 
affection, which was displayed in unanimous demonstrations ; 
and made amends for whatever anxiety and affliction, junctures 
less serene, might have created in his bosom a few years since; 
it has left on every heart a glow of gratitude to the Almighty- 
hand, which, in the midst of the general calamities and dis- 
cord of Europe, has in ENGLAND blessed with security the" 
"saving power of the Constitution, and that moral harmony 
existing between a free nation and aPrince, whomus: be proud 
to ieel HIMSELF governed by the laws of a HAPPY LAND* 



CLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 581 

undefended huts upon the cliff partake the 
principle, assist the design',, and contribute to 
the accomplishment. 

Drawing then our inference from a great 
scriptural maxim, that " A HOUSE DIVIDED 

AGAINST ITSELF SHALL NOT STAND" while We 

admit and it is indisputable the full force of 
this sacred truth, is it not fair to conclude 
that the inversion of the axiom must be no less 
certain A HOUSE DETERMINED TO UNITE CAN- 
NOT FALL ? To the House of England it is, per- 
haps, only necessary to be unanimous in any one 
great point and whatever difference of opinion 
there may be in the family which inhabit it, as 
to reforms and repairs of particular parts 
their agreement on that one as in the case of 
INVASION, may save the whole building. 



582 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND- 



******** 
** * * * * * 
* * * * 
* * 
# 

London, July 4 3 1 799* 

WHAT a gap is here to be filled up 1 what a 
jump has been made in our dates ! the leap 
almost of a year. You will permit me to ex- 
plain. 

I perceive by the accumulated bulk of that 
part of our , correspondence now before me in 
print, as the sheets have been brought from 
the press, that a Volume is filled to more than 
the usual 'complement of pages and quantity 
must, in the second place, be regarded in 
whatever we presume to offer the public. I 
arri aware that little progress has yet been made 
on a scale of miles, not so, I trust, in the 
measurement which will be taken by the mind's 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 583 

eye, in the point to which it has been the 
chief intention to direct it. What that point 
is, has been stated and exemplified in so many 
forms and on so many occasions, in the course 
of these Letters, that it would be mere reitera- 
tion, not only to you, my friend, to whom they 
were originally addressed, but to the public, of 
which you deem them worthy, to enlarge. 
And though I am satisfied very many na- 
tional subjects of great pith and moment, 
respecting the POLITICS, the MORALS, the 
GENIUS, the SCIENCE, the PROFESSIONAL 
CHARACTER, and the CHARITIES* of the Coun- 
try with the due' shadings, and in some cases, 
the dark contrasts of these our factions, cor- 
ruptions stretches of power strains of privi- 
lege with diverse abuses, and various quacke- 
ries empiricisms both of body and soul with 
displays of our towns and cities of nobler note 
including that most noble, most august the 



* On this benevolent theme one of the prime glories of 
the nation I am permitted to promise you new and rich 
stores. 



584 GLEANINGS IN. ENGLAND. 

nation's just pride the admiration., and at the 
present moment, the -envy of almost the whole 
world our SUBLIME METROPOLIS though, I 
am fully sensible that remarks on these, and num- 
berless other objects, form the remaining parts 
of the correspondence I have had the pleasure 
to hold with you between the dates of my first 
Letter of the first of May, 17Q8, to that which 
I am now writing to you on the fourth of July, 
1799> w i tn sketches of the diversified scenery, 
anecdote, character, and whatever art or nature, 1 * 
had to offer by the way, in our traverse of many 
parts of a country which will justify all I have 
said of it yet they must unavoidably stand 
over to a more distant period. 

Alas ! distant period ! " proud words and 
vain," as our sublime but mournful Poet of 
Night-^ would call them 

" Poor pensioners on the bounties of an hour" 



* Among these, I am proud to know, you and many of our 
friends, sollicjt a place for the magical SYBIL LEAVES, blown 
into my path by a Fairy and for the NATIVE SONNETS, &c. 

t Dr. YOUNQ. -*" . 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 585 

ias we are, how do we reckon upon time the 
least certain, perhaps, of any thing In an un- 
certain world ? 

Your friend, Baron, has been much out of 
health, for many weeks past, and from some 
afflictive feelings, his mind has suffered with his 
body, or possibly by their proximity, instead of 
relieving, as such near relatives should, have 
aggrieved each other. This must at once offer 
an explanation to you of his late unusually- 
extended silence, and give another reason for 
wishing to come to a pause in the correspond- 
ence. He is neither dispirited nor superstitious, 
and will not therefore think it 

*' An awful pause prophetic of its end ;" 

but, \vithout bringing himself, individually, at 
all into the subject, observe that this appears 
to be the crisis at which every man in the realm 
of England should endeavour to do something 
that he but thinks may be useful to the public. 
The mite of the widow was an acceptable offer- 
ing even in the Eye of Gop that which your 
friend here offers his country, on the like pure 



580 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

principle of affection, will not be rejected: 
and as the smallest gift should not be delayed, 
he confesses, that it will be to him like 
securing a ray of satisfaction which no event 
can wholly destroy to know that his tribute 
^s placed beyond the mercy of accident or 
the reach of death itself. 

To you, my friend, the delay of what is in- 
tended at the first opportunity, should it never 
present itself though perhaps it may speedily 
can be no disappointment ; were the whole 
of the correspondence now before you, what 
could it more than give you back in print what 
you have already read in manuscript? except, 
indeed, what casual information may since have 
been added in the notes of reference, the res'ult 
of farther research and reflection, as in the 
present Volume ? 

Mean time, I cannot but lament that the 
time of your proposed journey and voyage are 
postponed to a date yet more remote. The 
motive of your delay is honourable to you ; 
, but the heart is often afflicted by what it ap- 
proves a little -selfishly perhaps, but very 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 5S7 

sincerely- mine, I must own,, feels in the pre- 
sent instance the sickness of Hope deferred. 
That, however, is a malady, which, alas! we 
must all feel by turns ; but still it is preferable 
to no Hope at all ; despair being the only in- 
curable disease of the soul ! And the idea 
even should it at length prove only such 
that, at such a point of time we shall be re- 
united to those we love that we shall see 
converse with, and embrace them is worth 
cherishing fondly cherishing though the in- 
termediate space should be long, dreary, and 
unjoyous. 

But, in your case, the absence of a friend, 
is, I will not say atoned mitigated and con- 
soled. While Heaven permits you to be 
encompassed, as now it doth, by so many of 
its distinguished blessings ; a lovely partner, a 
beautiful family, competent fortunes, uninter- 
rupted health, and now the prospect, clear of 
the clouds and darkness that lately rested upon 
it, of the deliverance of your country also from 
an Invader, indeed, of two countries, your 
native Switzerland and almost naturalized Ger- 



583 GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

many; while such beatitudes cluster about 
y ou such guests- I had well nigh called them 
angel-guests, emparadise your bower, and 
grace your roof, it would be to repeat the fault 
by which; we are told, man first fell from an 
almost angelic state, to. repine. 

Yet, shall I confess, that while I can thus 
reason and thus feel, the truth, the force, of 
that reasoning, I peruse, and: re-peruse, that 
passage of your last, which expresses with every 
fervour and mark of truth your sollicitude, 
your pain at the necessity of being longer 
detained. -Without being thought to encou- 
rage the repining spirit, shall I dare even 
to acknowledge, that those expressions were, 
and still remain, the most in favour with my 
selfish heart ? The fact and whatever of fault 
there may be in it cannot be denied. Yet, 
I fear the confession is not made with all the 
penitence which the holy fathers might require : 
for, I cannot truly say the sollicitude, or, par- 
don me, even the pain it brings is altogether 
unwelcome to me; though, I would have no 
more pain inflicted, Baron/ than while you 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 5SQ 

are grateful for the abundant good you enjoy at 
home to feel ^hat your felicity Would be more 
complete, were the society of your far-distant 
Correspondent added unto you. 

" The head and front of my offending 
Hath this extent, no more." 

and this, I know, you will forgive. You are a 
friend, not a confessor : yet, even in the former 
indulgent character, I ought, methinks, to 
offer you all the palliatives I can : and one, of 
no slight consideration, is at hand. I have of late 
more than usual stood in need of the lenitives 
of affection ; for, besides, mere derangement 
of health, I have been suffering, and very 
heavily, from its corrosives. A man, whom 
you honour with your affection, has been for 
some time conflicting with himself from a 
threatened act of oppression ; under a generous 
and indignant sense of which, he wrote what 
a firm though agitated mind dictated. I men- 
tion it to you now, because the wound is in a 
great measure cured by the remedy, and you 
are not now to condole but to gratulate. 



5C)O GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND. 

K Let the unfortunate," says one of the best 
historians of our England,* afid one of the 
most acute observers of general nature : " let 
the Unhappy turn to the works of the philoso- 
phers and moralists ; to the noble effusions of 
intellectual beings; there, when all else fails, 
may a spring of comfort 'be found, where 
Adversity cannot prevent us from slaking our 
thirst," The medicine is good ; but, when 
the sick or hurt mind can " minister to its 
own disease" without resorting to distant 
reservoirs for the restorative ; when the mental 
invalid can repair to a fountain, much nearer 
home when he can draw the cordial from his 
own Ireastj the draught is yet more healing, 
more anodyne and more natural. The suf- 
ferer to whom I allude, has had recourse to 
these living waters: arid on the chance of 
extending the healing power to others 
they shall terminate these our FIRST VIEWS OP 
ENGLAND, not, however, as tears in an URN, 
but as a conquest-marking inscription on a 

'. ' * - 

* HUME, 



GLEANINGS IN ENGLAND, 5Q1 

TRIUMPHAL ARCH, sacred to the proudest 
victory 'of mortal man a victory of 'the Mtnd. 

SONNET. 



SPARK OF THE ETERNAL FIRE! whose lambent ray, 
Quenches the lustre of yon flaming Ball, 

And ev'ry orb to which he lends the day, 

Shrinks to the taper's gleam on THEE I call! 

Onthee, my SOUL! who, though thyself unseen, 
Within my breast hast fix'd a radiant throne, 

Whereon thou sit'st, in majesty serene 
Ev'n like thy GOD, superior and alone ! 

And should that breast, from Freedom's arms be torn s 
Be hurl'd to cavern'd cells, or dungeon gloom, 

Instinct with THEE, and by thy power upborn, 
A GLORY would illume my living tomb : 

For O, tothee, SPIRIT divine! isgiv'n, 
WIDE AS THE TYRANT'S HELL, TO SPREAD THE 
LIGHT OF HEAV'N. 

FINIS. 



r Y 



D Pratt, Samuel Jackson 
917 Gleanings through Wales, 

P73 Holland, and Westphalia 

1798 4th ed. 



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